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The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

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Copyright, 1900, by Daniel B. Vermilyk. 

All fiir/tis reser^'td. 

/ (UtJiH^Ax. mmkMA^ /foAyasi^ 
l/dwm/i 4 cw ZiAv ^^ //Mm^ 


I authorize Messrs. Harper & Brothers to translate 
and to publish in the English language my book " From 
India to the Planet Mars." 

Geneva, June 20, 1900 



Translator's Preface vii 

I. Introduction i 

II. Childhood and Youth of Mlle. Smith .... 15 

III. Mlle. Smith Since Her Initiation into Spiritism 35 

I. The Mediumistic Beginnings of Mlle. Smith 36 
II. Mlle. Smith in her Normal State . . .41 

III. Spontaneous Automatic Phenomena ... 48 

1. Permanence of Exterior Suggestions . 49 

2. Irruptions of Subliminal Reveries . . 51 

3. Teleological Automatisms 58 

IV. The Seances ... 60 

IV. The Personality of Leopold . . 76 

I. Psychogenesis of Leopold . . .80 

II. Personification of Bai.samo by Leopold . . 96 

III. Leopold and the True Joseph Balsamo . . 107 

IV. Leopold and Mlle. Smith 116 

V. The Martian Cycle .... 139 

I. Origin and Birth of the Martian Cycle . 140 

II. Later Development of the Martian Cycle 152 

III. The Personages of the Martian Romance . 172 

Esenale 173 

AsTANfi 177 

Pouz£, RamiI — Various Personages . . . i88 

IV. Concerning the Author of the Martian 

Romance 190 



VI. The Martian Cycle (continued)— The Martian 

Language i95 

I. Verbal Martian Automatisms 198 

II. The Martian Texts 2io 

III. Remarks on the Martian Language . 241 

1. Martian Phonetics and Handwriting . 246 

2. Grammatical Forms 249 

3. Construction and Syntax 251 

4. Vocabulary 252 

5. Style .... 255 

IV. Mlle. Smith and the Inventor of Martian . 257 

VII. The Martian Cycle (concluded) — The Ultra- 
Martian 261 

VIII. The Hindoo Cycle .... . ... .275 

I. Apparition and Development of the Hin- 
doo Cycle 279 

II. SiVROUKA AND M. DE MaRL^S ... . . 297 

III. The Arab Elements of the Oriental Cycle 309 

IV. The Hindoo Language of Mlle. Smith . . 314 
V. The Sources of the Hindoo Dream . . . 337 

IX. The Royal Cycle 342 

X. Supernormal Appearances 364 

I. The Study of the Supernormal 365 

II. Physical Phenomena 375 

1. Apports 375 

2. Movements of Objects Without Contact 377 

III. Telepathy .... 387 

IV. Lucidity ... . . . 396 

1. Medical Consultations . 398 

2. Objects Recovered 401 

3. Retrocognitions . 406 

V. Incarnations and Spirit Messages .... 413 

1. Case of Mlle. Vignier 425 

2. Case of Jean the Quarryman . . . 430 

3. Case of the Syndic Chaumontet and 

of the CvKt BURNIER , . . 431 

XI. Conclusion ^^i 


THE translation into English of From India 
to the Planet Mars has been undertaken in 
response to the demand created by the wide- 
spread and increasing interest which is manifest- 
ing itself both in Great Britain and the United 
States in the phenomena exhibited by its heroine — 
an interest which marks a new era in the progress 
of human knowledge. 

• Twenty — even ten — years ago the phenomena 
which Prof. Flournoy here describes in detail, and 
of which he offers a keen, skilful, psychological 
analysis, would have met with the sneers of popular 
science and the contempt of obscurantist ortho- 
doxy ; the book would have found few readers. 

Times have greatly changed since the Society for 
Psychical Research was founded, eighteen years 
ago, by a few thoughtful men (included among 
them were those whose names would have con- 
ferred honor upon any body of men) interested in 
the investigation of abnormal mental or psychic 

In explaining their reasons for organizing that 


society, its founders made the following state- 

" From the recorded testimony of many compe- 
tent witnesses, past and present, including obser- 
vations accurately made by scientific men of emi- 
nence of various countries, there appears to be, 
among much illusion and deception, an important 
body of remarkable phenomena which are prima 
facie inexplicable on any generally recognized hy- 
pothesis, and which, if incontestably established, 
would be of the highest possible value." 

The organization of this society constituted the 
first attempt in the world's history to investigate 
the phenomena of clairvoyance, automatic writing 
and speaking, trance conditions, second sight, appa- 
ritions of persons at the point of death, alleged 
spirit messages, etc., by a scientific body formed 
upon a broad basis. 

As was to have been expected, the work and aims 
of the society were met by a storm of derision and 
ridicule, and by attacks which poured in from every 
quarter, the bitterest of which came from the alwaj^s 
too numerous class of narrow-minded scientists, 
whose partisan prejudices, confining them to a nar- 
row rut, hinder their seeing anything from a point 
of view other than that of their preconceived hy- 
potheses, and prevent them from attaining that 
open-mindedness which is indispensable to and one 
of the first requisites of a true scientist in any field ' 
of investigation. 


The interest shown to-day in the work of psy- 
chical research — among the evidences of which may 
be noted the reception accorded this work of Prof. 
Flournoy, which has, within a few months from 
the date of its pubhcation, attained its third French 
edition — demonstrates the uKimate triumph of the 
founders of that society in their efforts to bring the 
thinking pubhc to a reaUzation of the supreme im- 
portance of a systematic scientific study of the mys- 
terious psychic phenomena so long neglected by 
official science, but which are now beginning to 
assume their rightful place in the field of study and 

Men have come to realize that the facts proved by 
science have not thus far been adequate to satisfy 
the needs of mankind, and many are to-day asking 
whether the scientific investigation of psychic phe- 
nomena inay not succeed in proving the preamble 
of all religions. 

Already science has disclosed the existence of a 
hidden, subliminal world within each individual be- 
ing, and it is the investigation of that part of the 
individuality of Helene Smith which our author 
has undertaken in the following pages. 

The importance of the subject and its intense in- 
terest lie m the fact that psychical research hints 
at a possible solution, by means of the same methods 
which science has been accustomed to use in the 
physical world, of the great problem of man's future 
destiny, of an answer to the question asked by Job 


four thousand years ago, "If a man die, shall he 
live again ? " and which has been repeated in vain 
by every generation of men who have since inhab- 
ited the earth. 

While, it is true, the great majority of men are 
still skeptical as to the ability of science ever to 
solve this problem, it is, however, a fact that a con- 
tinually increasing number of thoughtful men are 
coming to believe that the hidden subliminal world 
within us may point to an unseen but spiritual 
world without, communication with which, if once 
established, would furnish us with the solution so 
ardently longed for. 

Such men do not believe that it behooves them 
to be content with the passivity of pure Agnosticism 
are not willing that Ignoramus et Ignorabimus 
should be their only creed. They are beginning 
to search for new facts in the domain of the human 
mind, just as they have searched for and found 
them everywhere else they have looked for them. 

Mr. F W. H. Myers, the pioneer and leader of 
the psychical research movement, in an address 
recently delivered, says : " Starting from various 
stand-points, we endeavor to carry the newer, the 
intellectual virtues into regions where dispassionate 
tranquillity has seldom yet been known. . . . First, 
we adopt the ancient belief — implied in all mono- 
theistic religion, and conspicuously confirmed by 
the progress of modern science— that the world as a 
whole, spiritual and material together, has irl some 


way a systematic unity : and on this we base 
the novel presumption that there should be a unity 
of method in the investigation of all fact. We hold 
therefore that the attitude, the habits of mind, the 
methods by which physical science has grown deep 
and wide, should be applied also to the spiritual 
world. We endeavor to approach the problems 
of that world by careful collection, scrutiny, testing 
of particular facts ; and we account no unexplained 
fact too trivial for our attention." 

This is just what Prof. Flournoy has endeavored 
to do in regard to the strange phenomena mani- 
fested by Mile. Hekne Smith. No fact has been 
regarded by him as too trivial to escape his keen, 
careful scrutiny from a psychological point of view. 

The first task which the investigators of these 
obscure mental phenomena set themselves was, 
naturally, that of separating and sifting the real, 
actually existent facts from the mass of fraud and 
deception in which mercenary charlatans, aided 
by the easy credulity of the simple-minded, had con- 
trived so completely to bury from sight the true 
phenomena that for a long time the intelligent 
public refused utterly to believe in the existence of 
any real phenomena of the kind, but insisted that 
everything when fully probed would be found to 
be mere delusion, the result of trickery and fraud. 

Probably no scientific fact since the dawn of 
modern science has required so great a weight of 
cumulative evidence in its favor to establish the 


reality of its existence in the popular mind than 
have the phenomena in question. The task, how- 
ever, has been accomplished. 

Prof. Flournoy's heroine, although she is a high- 
minded, honorable woman, regarded by all her 
neighbors and friends as wholly 'ncapable of con- 
scious fraud, has been subjected to the closest sur- 
veillance on the part of a number of eminent phy- 
sicians and scientists of Geneva for more than five 
years past, while Mrs. Piper, the famous Boston 
medium, has been subjected to an even closer scru- 
tiny by the Society for Psychical Research for the 
past fifteen years. In spite of the fact that this 
society has announced its willingness to become 
responsible for the entire absence of fraud in Mrs. 
Piper's case, and of a similar declaration on the 
part of Prof. Flournoy and his associates in regard 
to Mile. Smith, there still remain a considerable 
number of ultra-skeptical persons who persist in 
asserting that fraud and deceit are at the bottom 
of, and account for, all this species of phenomena. 

The well-known gentlemen who have investi- 
gated these cases have never been accused of easy 
credulity in other matters, and have cautiously 
and perseveringly continued, in their endeavor to 
satisfy skepticism, to pile Pelion upon Ossa in the 
way of cimiulative proofs of the genuineness of 
the phenomena and to safeguard their investiga- 
tions in every possible manner against all possi- 
bihty of fraud, until they have finally come to feel 


that more than sufficient proof has been furnished 
to satisfy any honest, fair-minded, sensible doubt. 
They do not feel that they have the ri^ht to devote 
further time to the question of the genuineness of 
the facts observed by them — time which they be- 
lieve might be better employed in endeavoring to 
discover the laws by which the phenomena are 
governed. They believe that those who are not sat- 
isfied with the evidence already offered will not be 
convinced by any amount of further testimony — 
that their skei)ticism is invincible. For persons so 
constituted this book will have no interest ; its per- 
usal will afford them no pleasure. 

The endeavor to explain these mysterious phe- 
nomena by scientific investigators has resulted in 
their adoption of one or other of two hypotheses, viz. : 

1. That the phenomena are the product of and 
originate in the subliminal consciousness of the 
medium ; or, 

2. That the phenomena are really of suj)crnor- 
mal origin and emanate from the disincarnate s]iir- 
its of the dead, who return to earth and take tem- 
porary possession of the organism of the medium, 
talking through her mouth, writing with her hand 
while she is in a somnambulistic state. 

The first theory involves the crediting of the sub- 
liminal consciousness with almost miraculous pow- 
ers of telepathy, since, on that hypothesis, it is nec- 
essary, in order to account for the knowledge pos- 
sessed by the medium, to suppose that her sublim- 


inal consciousness is able to roam at will through- 
out the entire universe and read the mind of any 
being possessing the information sought for. 

All open-minded investigators freely admit that 
either of the above hypotheses may be untrue; 
that very Httle is known by them as yet in regard to 
the nature of the phenomena; that the data are too 
slight to justify more than a provisional hypothesis, 
which the discovery of new facts may at any time 
entirely demolish. But, thus far, the hypotheses 
above given seem to be the only ones which will 
in any way rationally account for the facts : in 
which case, it is evident that each individual ob- 
server will be influenced in his choice of a hypoth- 
esis by his religious belief, which will greatly affect 
the point of view from which he approaches the sub- 
ject, and also by his natural temperament, habits 
of thought, etc. 

Prof. Flournoy states that he has endeavored to 
keep constantly in mind and to be guided by two 
propositions, which he designates respectively the 
" Principle of Hamlet " and the " Principle of La 
Place," the former being, " All things are possible," 
the latter, " The weight of the evidence ought to be 
proportioned to the strangeness of the facts." 

Guided by these two principles, Prof. Flournoy 
has come to the conclusion that Mile. Smith really 
possesses the faculty ol: telekinesis — the ability to 
move ponderable objects situated at a distance, 
without contact and contrary to known natural 


laws. On the other hand, he does not heUeve 
the phenomena manifested by her to be of super- 
normal origin. The various alleged " spirit " mes- 
sages, "incarnations," "gift of tongues," and all 
other apparently supernormal phenomena, in his 
opinion, spring from Mile. Smith's subliminal con- 
sciousness, and he exercises great skill and inge- 
nuity in his effort to trace the very wonderful and 
astonishing manifestations with which he has had 
to deal to natural sources. 

Whether the individual reader adopts the author's 
views and theories, or finds in others a more natural 
explanation of the facts narrated by Prof. Flournoy, 
he cannot fail to admire the frankness, candor, and 
entire freedom from pre udice displayed by him. 
He evinces a true, open-minded, scientific spirit, 
never distorting facts in order to make them fit his 
hypotheses, and freely admitting the possibility of 
the discovery of new facts at any time, of a nature 
to compel him to adopt some other hypothesis than 
that which he has provisionally assumed to ex- 
plain the phenomena. 

A word on another subject before the reader goes 
on to the perusal of this narrative of strange facts : 

One who is interested in Psychical Research, when 
he has finally succeeded in convincing some obsti- 
nate skeptic of the genuineness of the phenomena 
— when the doubter has at last yielded to the weight 
of evidence, then, very frequently, the next ques- 


tion, which comes as a wet blanket to dampen the 
ardor of the enthusiastic devotee, is : "Cui bono ? 
Admitting the truth of the facts, what useful pur- 
pose is subserved by their study? Science will 
never succeed in solving the problem of man's 
future destiny. It is all a waste of time and will 
end in nothing. " And in a review of this very book, 
which recently appeared in one of our leading metro- 
politan newspapers, the reviewer asks, " A^'^hat Anil 
science make of all this ?" (referring to the phenom- 
ena manifested by Mile. Smith); and then answers 
his own question by saying, " It is very unlikely 
that science will ever discover the nature of these 
mysterious phenomena or the laws which govern 

From this conclusion the followers of Psychical 
Research emphatically dissent. It seems passing 
strange to them that such an opinion should be 
held by intelligent men at the present stage of de- 
velopment of human knowledge, in view of the 
mighty discoveries which have been wrested from 
nature by the laborious process of persevering ob- 
servation of seemingly trivial facts. An eigh- 
teenth-century writer might with some show of 
reason have made a similar observation in regard 
to Dr. Frankhn and his experiments with kite and 
key in a thunder-storm. It would indeed, at that 
epoch, have seemed unlikely that science w^ould 
succeed in discovering the secret of the electric fluid 
by such means. But to-day, at the dawn of the 


twentieth century, with all the experience of the 
past to judge from, are not the probabiUties all in 
favor of great results to science from repeated ex- 
periments by trained observers, such as Prof. Flour- 
noy, upon cases similar to that of Mile. Smith ? 

If the hypothesis that the world as a whole, spir- 
itual and material together, has in some way a sys- 
tematic unity, be true — and that is the hypothesis 
accepted by a majority of thinking men at the pres- 
ent time — then the importance of collecting and 
recording and analyzing such facts as those pre- 
sented to us in the present narrative cannot be 

The scientific demonstration of a future life may 
be one of the great triumphs reserved for the science 
of the twentieth century to win, and H^lene Smith 
and Prof. Flournoy may ultimately appear to have 
contributed largely to its accomplishment. 

To those who still persist in asking Cui bono ? in 
reference to such work as that which Prof. Flournoy 
has here so ably performed, I beg leave to quote 
further from Mr. Myers the following : 

" The faith to which Science is sworn is a faith 
in the uniformity, the coherence, the intelligibil- 
ity of, at any rate, the material universe. Science 
herself is but the practical development of this 
mighty postulate. And if any phenomenon on 
which she chances on her onward way seems arbi- 
trary, or incoherent, or unintelligible, she does not 
therefore suppose that she has come upon an un- 


ravelled end in the texture of things ; but rather 
takes for granted that a rational answer to the new 
problem must somewhere exist — an answer which 
will be all the more instructive because it will in- 
volve facts of which that first question must have 
failed to take due account. 

" This faith in the uniformity of material Nature 
formulates itself in two great dogmas — for such 
they are ; — the dogma of the Conservation of Mat- 
ter and the dogma of the Conservation of Energy. 
Of the Conservation of Matter, within earthly lim- 
its, we are fairly well assured ; but of the Con- 
servation of Energy the proof is far less complete, 
simply because Energy is a conception which does 
not belong to the material world alone. Life is to 
us the most important of all forms of activity — 
of energy, I would say — except that we cannot 
transform other energies into Life, nor measure in 
foot-pounds that directive force which has changed 
the face of the world. Life comes we know not 
whence ; it vanishes we know not whither ; it is 
interlocked with a movng system vaster than that 
we know. To grasp the whole of its manifesta- 
tion, we should have to follow it into an unseen 
world. Yet scientific faith bids us believe that 
there, too, there is continuity ; and that the past 
and the future of that force which we discern for 
a moment are still subject to universal Law. 

"Out of the long Stone Age our race is awaken- 
ing into consciousness of itself. We stand in the 


dawn of history. Behind us lies a vast and unre- 
corded waste — the mighty struggle humanam 
condere gentem. Since the times of that igno- 
rance we have not yet gone far ; a few thousand 
years, a few hundred thinkers, have barely start- 
ed the human mind upon the great aeons of its on- 
ward way. It is not yet the hour to sit down in our 
studies and try to eke out Tradition with Intu- 
ition — as one might be forced to do in a planet's 
senility, by the glimmer of a fading sun. Daphni, 
quid antiquos signorum suspicis ortus ? The tra- 
ditions, the intuitions of our race are themselves 
in their infancy ; and before we abandon ourselves 
to brooding over them let us at least first try the 
upshot of a systematic search for actual facts. 
For what should hinder ? If our inquiry lead us 
first through a jungle of fraud and folly, need that 
alarm us ? As well might Columbus have yield- 
ed to the sailors' panic when he was entangled in 
the Sargasso Sea. If our first clear facts about 
the Unseen World seem small and trivial, should 
that deter us from the quest ? As well might Co- 
lumbus have sailed home again, with America in 
the offing, on the ground that it was not worth 
while to discover a continent which manifested 
itself only by dead logs." 

It is deeply to be regretted that no appeals have 
availed to persuade Mile. Smith to consent to the 
publication of her photograph, in connection with 


Prof. Flournoy's account of the phenomena mani- 
fested by her. 

She shrinks from the publicity which her pos- 
session of these strange powers has thrust upon 
her. She disUkes extremely the notoriety given 
to her mysterious faculties, and refuses to be inter- 
viewed concerning them, or to discuss Prof. Flour- 
noy's book. 

The name H^lfene Smith is, as the reader will 
doubtless guess, merely a pseudonym. The indi- 
viduality designated by that name, however, is held 
in highest esteem — in veneration even — by a very 
large circle of friends and acquaintances in the 
city on the shores of Lake Leman, in which she 
has passed her life from infancy, for whose benefit 
she is always ready to exercise her mysterious 
gifts and to give her services freely to such as seek 
her aid, refusing always to accept any pecuniary 
compensation for her services. Attaching, as she 
does, a religious significance to her powers, she 
would deem it a sacrilege to traffic in them. 

Daniel B. Vermilye. 

Columbia University, New York, 
July, igoo. 




IN the month of December, 1894, I was invited by 
M. Aug. Lemaitre, Professor of the College of 
Geneva, to attend some seances of a non-pro- 
fessional medium, receiving no compensation for her 
services, and of whose extraordinary gifts and ap- 
parently supernormal faculties I had frequently 

Having gladly accepted the invitation of my 
worthy colleague, I found the medium in question, 
whom I shall call Mile. H6lene Smith, to be a beauti- 
ful woman about thirty years of age, tall, vigorous, 
of a fresh, healthy complexion, with hair and eyes 
almost black, of an open and intelligent counte- 
nance, which at once invoked sympathy. She 
evinced nothing of the emaciated or tragic aspect 
which one habitually ascribes to the sibyls of tradi- 
tion, but wore an air of health, of physical and men- 


tal vigor, very pleasant to behold, and which, by-the- 
way, is not often encountered in those who are good 

The number of those invited to take part in the 
seance being complete, we seated ourselves in a cir- 
cle, with our hands resting upon the traditional 
round table of spiritistic circles. Mile. Smith — who 
possesses a triple mediumship : visual, auditive, and 
typtological* — began, in the most natural manner, 
to describe the various apparitions which passed be- 
fore her eyes in the partially darkened room. Sud- 
denly she stops and listens; she hears a name spoken 
in her ear, which she repeats to us with astonish- 
ment; then brief sentences, the words of which are 
spelled out by raps on the table, explain the mean- 
ing of the vision. Speaking for myself alone (there 
were three of us to divide the honor of the seance), 
I was greatly surprised to recognize in scenes which 
passed before my eyes events which had transpired 
in my own family prior to my birth. Whence could 
the medium, whom I had never met before, have 
derived the knowledge of events belonging to a re- 
mote past, of a private nature, and utterly unknown 
to any living person? 

The astounding powers of Mrs. Piper, the famous 
Boston medium, whose wonderful intuition reads the 
latent memories of her visitors like an open book, 
recurred to my mind, and I went out from that seance 
with renewed hope of finding myself some day face 
to face with the "supernormal"— a true and genu- 

*I.i., Spirit-rapping— the faculty of obtaining responses by 
means of raps upon a table. 


ine supernormal— telepathy, clairvoyance, spiritistic 
manifestations, it matters not by what name it be 
called, provided only that it be wholly out of the 
ordinary, and that it succeed in utterly demolish- 
ing the entire framework of established present-day 

I was able at this time to obtain general informa- 
tion only concerning the past of Mile. Smith, but it 
was all of a character favorable to her, and has since 
been fully confirmed. 

Of modest bearing and an irreproachable moral 
character, she has for years earned an honorable 
living as an employee of a commercial house, in 
which her industry, her perseverance, and her high 
character have combined to secure her a very respon- 
sible and important position. 

Some three years prior to the date of my introduc- 
tion to her she had been initiated into a spiritistic 
group, where her remarkable psychic powers almost 
immediately manifested themselves; and she then 
became a member of various other spiritistic circles. 
From its commencement her mediumship mani- 
fested the complex type to which I have already al- 
luded, and from which it has never deviated. Vi- 
sions in a waking state, accompanied by typtological 
dictation and auditive hallucinations, alternately ap- 
peared. From the point of view of their content 
these messages had generally a bearing on past 
events usually unknown to the persons present, but 
which were always verified by referring to biograph- 
ical dictionaries or to the traditions of the families 
interested. To these phenomena of relrocognition 



or of hypermnesia were joined occasionally, ac- 
cording to the environment, moral exhortations, com- 
municated through the table, more frequently in 
poetry than in prose, addressed to the sitters ; med- 
ical consultations, accompanied by prescriptions 
generally appropriate ; communications from parents 
or friends recently deceased ; or, finally, revelations 
as piquant as they were unverifiablc concerning the 
antt'rioriUs (that is, the previous existences) of the 
sitters, almost all of whom, being profound believers 
in spiritism, would not have been at all surprised to 
learn that they were the reincarnations respectively 
of Coligny, of Vergniaud, of the Princess Lamballe, 
or of other notable personages. It is necessary, 
finally, to add that all these messages seemed to 
be more or less bound up with the mysterious pres- 
ence of a "spirit" answering to the name of Leopold, 
who assumed to be the guide and protector of the 

I at once undertook to improve my acquaintance 
with H61ene Smith. She freely consented to give 
seances for my benefit, alternating with a series 
which she was giving M. Lemaitre, and another for 
the benefit of Prof. Cucndet, vice-president of the 
Geneva Society (spiritistic) for Psychic Studies, all 
of which I was permitted to attend. In this way 
I have been able to be present at the greater part of 
Helena's seances during the past five years. The 
personal observations that I have thus been able to 
make, reinforced by notes on sittings which I was 
unable to attend, kindly furnished me by MM. 
Lemaitre and Cuendet, form the basis of the study 



which follows; to which must be added, however, cer- 
tain letters of Mile. Smith, as well as the numerous 
and very interesting conversations I have held with 
her either immediately preceding or following her 
seances, or at her home, where I also have had the 
advantage of being able to talk with her mother. 
Finally, various documents and accessory informa- 
tion, which will be cited in their respective time and 
place, have also been of assistance in enabling me 
partially to elucidate certain obscure points. Not- 
withstanding all these sources of information, how- 
ever, I am still very far from being able to disentangle 
and satisfactorily explain the complex phenomena 
which constitute H61ene's mediumship. 

Dating from the period at which I made the ac- 
quaintance of Mile. Smith {i. e., from the winter of 
1894-95), while most of her spiritistic communica- 
tions have continued to present .he same character 
as to form and content as before, a double and very 
important modification in her mediumship has been 

I. As to their psychological form. — While up to 
that time Helbne had experienced partial and lim- 
ited automatisms only — visual, auditive, typtomotor 
hallucinations — compatible with the preservation to 
a certain extent of the waking state, and not involv- 
ing noticeable loss of memory, from that time and 
with increasing frequency she has been subject to 
an entire loss of consciousness and a failure to retain, 
on returning to her normal state, any recollection of 
what has transpired during the seance. In physio- 
logical terms, the hemisomnambulism without am- 



nesia, which had been her stopping-point up to that 
time, and which the sitters mistook for the ordinary 
waking state, was now transformed into total som- 
nambulism with consecutive amnesia. 

In spiritistic parlance. Mile. Smith now became 
completely entranced, and having formerly been an 
ordinary visual and auditive medium, she now ad- 
vanced to the higher plane of an "incarnating me- 

I fear that this change must in a great measure 
be attributed to my influence, since it followed almost 
immediately upon my introduction to H^lbne's 
seances. Or, even if the total somnambuHsm would 
have inevitably been eventually developed by virtue 
of an organic predisposition and of a tendency favor- 
able to hypnoid states, it is nevertheless probable that 
I aided in hastening its appearance by my presence 
as well as by a few experiments which I permitted 
myself to make upon H6lfene. 

As is well known, mediums are usually surrounded 
by a halo of veneration, which prevents any one from 
touching them during their trances The idea would 
never occur to any ordinary frequenter of spiritistic 
circles to endeavor to ascertain the condition of the 
medium's sensory and motor functions by feeling 
her hands, pinching the flesh, or pricking the skin 
with a pin. Silence and immobility are the strict 
rule, in order not to hinder the spontaneous production 
of the phenomena, and a few questions or brief ob- 
servations on the receipt of a message is all that is 
permissible by way of conversation, and no one 
therefore would, under ordinary circumstances, dare 



to attempt any manipulation of the medium Mile. 
Smith had always been surrounded by this respectful 
consideration, and during the first three seances I 
conformed myself strictly to the passive and purely 
contemplative attitude of the other sitters. But at 
the fourth sitting my discretion vanished. I could 
not resist a strong desire to ascertain the physiological 
condition of the charming seeress, and I made some 
vigorous elementary experiments upon her hands, 
which lay temptingly spread out opposite me on the 
table. These experiments, which I renewed and 
followed up at the succeeding seance (February 3, 
1895), demonstrated that there is present in Mile. 
Smith, during her visions, a large and varied assort- 
ment of sensory and motor disturbances which had 
hitherto escaped the notice of the sitters, and which 
are thoroughly identical with those that may be ob- 
served in cases of hysteria (where they are more 
permanent), and those that may be momentarily 
produced in hypnotic subjects by suggestion. This 
was not at all astonishing, and was to have been 
expected. But one consequence, which I had not 
foreseen, did occur when, four days after my second 
experimental seance. Mile. Smith fell completely 
asleep for the first time at a sitting with M. Cuendet 
(February 7th), at which I was not present. The 
sitters were somewhat frightened, and, in trying to 
awaken her, discovered the rigidity of her arms, 
which were considerably contractured. Leopold 
however, communicating by means of the table upon 
which she was leaning, fully reassured them, and 
gave them to understand that such sleep was not at 



all prejudicial to the medium. After assuming va- 
rious attitudes and indulging in some amusing mim- 
icry, Mile. Smith awoke in excellent spirits, retaining 
as a last recollection of her dream that of a kiss 
which Leopold had imprinted upon her forehead. 

From that day on somnambulisms were the rule 
with H61fene, and the seances at which she did not 
fall completely asleep for at least a few moments 
formed rare exceptions to the course of events during 
the next four years. It is a great deprivation for Mile. 
Smith that these slumbers ordinarily leave her no 
memory upon her awakening of what has transpired 
in her trance, and she longs for the seances of former 
times when the visions unfolded themselves before 
her eyes, furnishing her with a pleasing spectacle 
which was always unexpected, and which, continu- 
ally being renewed, caused the seances to be to her 
a source of great delight. For the sitters, on the 
other hand, these scenes of somnambulism and in- 
carnation, together with the various physiological 
phenomena of catalepsy, lethargy, contractures, etc., 
which accompanied them, added great variety and 
additional interest to H61^ne Smith's remarkable 
and instructive triple mediumship. 

The greater sometimes implies the less : simulta- 
neously with the access of complete somnambulism 
came new forms and innumerable shades of hemi- 
somnambulism. The triple form of automatism 
which distinguished the first years of Mile. Smith's 
spiritistic experiences has been wonderfully devel- 
oped since 1895, and it would now be difiicult to name 
^ny principal forms of psychic mediumship of which 


she has not furnished curious specimens. I shall 
have occasion to cite several of them in the course of 
this work. H61bne constitutes the most remarkable 
medium I have ever met, and very nearly approaches 
the ideal of what might be called the polymorphous, 
or multiform, medium, in contradistinction to the uni- 
form mediums, whose faculties only concern them- 
selves with one kind of automatism. 

2. A modification analogous to that which took 
place in the psychologic form of the messages con- 
sisting of a marked improvement in their depth and 
importance, was noticeable simultaneously in their 

Alongside of the unimportant communications, com- 
plete at one sitting and independent one of another, 
which filled up a large part of each of Helene's seances 
and in no wise differentiated her faculties from those 
of the majority of mediums, she manifested from the 
beginning a marked tendency to a superior system- 
atization and a more lofty chain of visions ; com- 
munications were often continued through several 
seances, and reached their conclusion only at the end 
of several weeks. But from the period at which I 
made the acquaintance of Mile. Smith this tendency 
towards unity began to assert itself still more strongly. 
Several long somnambulistic dreams began to appear 
and to develop, the events of which continued to be 
unfolded through months, even years, and indeed 
still continue; a species of romance of the subliminal 
imagination analogous to those " continued stories " 
which so many of our race tell themselves in their 
moments of far niente, or at times when their routine 



occupations offer only slight obstacles to day-dream- 
ing, and of which they themselves are generally the 

Mile. Smith has no fewer than three distinct som- 
nambulistic romances, and if to these is added the 
existence of that secondary personality to which I 
have already alluded, and which reveals itself under 
the name of Leopold, we find ourselves in the presence 
of four subconscious creations of vast extent, which 
have been evolved on parallel lines for several years, 
and which manifest themselves in irregular alterna- 
tion during the course of different seances, or often 
even in the same seance. 

All of these have undoubtedly a common origin in 
H^lene's subliminal consciousness ; but in practice, 
at least, and to all appearance, these imaginative 
constructions present a relative independence and a 
diversity of content sufficiently great to render it 
necessary to study them separately. I shall confine 
myself at present to a general view of them. 

Two of these romances are connected with the 
spiritistic idea of previous existences. It has, indeed, 
been revealed that H^lfene Smith has already lived 
twice before on this globe. Five hundred years ago 
she was the daughter of an Arab sheik, and became, 
under the name of Simandini, the favorite wife of a 
Hindoo prince named Sivrouka Nayaka, who reigned 
over Kanara, and built in the year 1401 the fortress of 
Tchandraguiri. In the last century she reappeared 
in the person of the illustrious and unfortunate Marie 
Antoinette. Again reincarnated, as a punishment 
for her sins and the perfecting of her character, in 



the humble circumstances of ¥L6\hne Smith, she in 
certain somnambulistic states recovers the memory 
of her glorious avatars of old, and becomes again for 
the moment Hindoo princess or queen of France. 

I will designate under the names of "Hindoo" or 
"Oriental" cycle and "Royal" cycle the whole of the 
automatic manifestations relative to these two pre- 
vious existences. I shall call the third romance the 
" Martian" cycle, in which Mile. Smith, by virtue of 
the mediumistic faculties, which are the appanage and 
the consolation of her present life, has been able to 
enter into relation with the people and affairs of the 
planet Mars, and to unveil their mysteries to us. 
It is in this astronomical somnambulism that the 
phenomenon of glossolalia* appears, which consists 
of the fabrication and the use of an unknown lan- 
guage, and which is one of the principal objects of 
this study ; we shall- see, however, that analogous 
facts are likewise presented in the Hindoo cycle. 

The personality of Leopold maintains very com- 
plex relations with the preceding creations. On the 
one hand, it is very closely connected with the Royal 
cycle, owing to the fact that the name of Leopold is 
only a pseudonym under which is concealed the il- 
lustrious Cagliostro, who, it appears, was madly in- 
fatuated with Queen Marie Antoinette, and who 
now, discarnate and floating in space, has constituted 
himself the guardian angel in some respects of Mile. 
Smith, in whom after a long search he has again 

*Glossolalia signifies the "gift of tongues," or the ability to 
speali foreign languages without having consciously acquired 



found the august object of his unhappy passion of a 
century ago. 

On the other hand, this role of protector and spirit- 
ual guide which he assumes towards H6lene confers 
upon him a privileged place in her somnambulisms. 
He is more or less mixed up in the greater part of 
them ; assists at them, watches over them, and per- 
haps in a measure directs them. He also occasionally 
appears in the midst of a Hindoo or a Martian scene, 
delivering his message by certain characteristic move- 
ments of the hand. 

To sum up : sometimes revealing himself by raps 
upon the table, the taps of a finger, or by automatic 
writing; sometimes incarnating himself completely 
and speaking by the mouth of Mile. Smith while en- 
tranced — Leopold fulfils in these seances the multiple 
and varied functions of spirit-guide, giving good ad- 
vice relative to the manner of acting towards the 
medium; of sstage-manager hidden behind the scenes 
watching the performance and ready at any time to 
intervene; of benevolently disposed interpreter will- 
ing to furnish explanations of all that is obscure; of 
censor of morals sharply reprimanding the sitters 
when he deems it necessary; of sympathetic phy- 
sician prompt at diagnosis and well versed in the 
pharmacopoeia, etc. He also appears under his own 
name of Cagliostro to the somnambulistic gaze of 
the resuscitated Marie Antoinette and answers her 
questions by means of auditive hallucinations. Nor 
is this all : to make our summary complete, it is nec- 
essary also to investigate the personal connection 
of Mile. Smith with her invisible protector. She 


often invokes and questions Leopold at her own con- 
venience, and while he remains sometimes for weeks 
without giving any sign of life, he at other times 
readily responds to her by means of voices or visions 
which surprise her while fully awake in the course 
of her daily duties, and in which he lavishes upon her 
in turn material or moral advice, useful information, 
or the encouragement and consolation of which she 
has need. 

Although I have accused myself of perhaps having 
had much to do with the transformation of H61fene's 
hemisomnambulism into complete trances, I believe 
myself, however, altogether innocent of the origin, 
and therefore of the subsequent development, of the 
great subliminal creations of which I have spoken. 
The first, that of Leopold, is of very early date, even 
going back probably, as we shall see, prior to Mile. 
Smith's initiation into spiritism. As to the three 
cycles, they did not, it is true, commence to display 
their full amplitude until after I had made Hel^ne's 
acquaintance; and since they start from the time 
when she first became subject to veritable trances, it 
would seem as though that supreme form of automa- 
tism is the only one capable of allowing the full ex- 
pansion of productions so complex, and the only 
psychological container appropriate and adequate to 
such a content. But the first appearance of all three 
was clearly prior to m.y presence at the seances. 
The Hindoo dream, where I shall be found playing 
a role which I did not seek, evidently began (October 
l6, 1894) eight weeks before my admission to Mile. 
Smith's seances, The Martian romance, which dates 



from the same period, is closely connected, as I shall 
also, show, with an involuntary suggestion of M. 
Lemaltre, who made the acquaintance of H^lfene in 
the spring of 1894, nine months before my intro- 
duction to her. The Royal cycle, finally, had been 
roughly outlined at seances held at the home of M. 
Cuendet, in December, 1893. Nevertheless, I repeat, 
only since 1895 have the exuberant growth and 
magnificent flowering of that subUminal vegetation 
taken place under the stimulating and provocative 
influence, albeit wholly unintentional and altogether 
unsuspected at the time, of the varied environments 
of Mile. Smith's seances. 

As far as the indiscreet revelations in regard to my 
own family, which so much astonished me at my first 
meeting with Mile. Smith, are concerned, as well as 
the innumerable extraordinary facts of the same kind 
with which her mediumship abounds, and to which 
she owes her immense reputation in spiritistic circles, 
it will suffice to return in the closing chapters of this 



THE psychological history of Mile. Smith and 
her , automatisms is naturally divided into 
two separate periods by the important fact 
of her initiation into spiritism at the beginning of 
1892. Before that time, not suspecting the possibil- 
ity of voluntary communication with the world of 
disincarnate spirits, she naturally manifested noth- 
ing more than a few spontaneous phenomena, the 
first flutterings of her mediumistic faculties which 
still lay dormant, the exact nature and progress of 
which it would be interesting to know in detail; un- 
fortunately, in the absence of written documents con- 
cerning that pre- spiritistic period, we are confined to 
the statements of H61^ne and her parents in regard 
to it, and the untrustworthiness of the memory in 
connection with events of a remote past is only too 
well known. 

The spiritistic period, on the contrary, extending 
over the last seven years, and infinitely more fertile 
in artificially promoted {e.g., the seances) as well as 
in spontaneous manifestations, is much better known 
to us ; but in order to comprehend it intelligently, it 
is necessary first to pass in review the few facts 



which we have been able to gather relating to the 
pre-spiritistic period — that is to say, the childhood 
and youth of Mile. Smith. That will be the subject 
of this chapter. 

Mile. Smith has lived in Geneva since her in- 
fancy. After attending school, she entered as an 
apprentice, at the age of fifteen, a large commercial 
house, where, as I have already stated, she still re- 
mains, and where, little by little, she has risen to a 
very responsible position. Her father, a merchant, 
was a Hungarian, and possessed a remarkable facil- 
ity for languages, which is of interest to us in pres- 
ence of the phenomena of glossolalia, a subject which 
will be discussed hereafter. Her mother is a Gene- 
vese. Both enjoyed excellent health and attained a 
venerable old age. H61fene had a younger sister 
who died in early childhood, and two brothers older 
than herself, who are now fathers of families and 
established abroad, where they have had successful 
business careers. 

I am not aware that M. Smith, who was a man of 
positive character, ever displayed any phenomena of 
automatisms. Mme. Smith, however, as well as 
her grandmother, has experienced several thoroughly 
characteristic phenomena of that kind, and one, at 
least, of H61bne's brothers, it appears, could easily 
have become a good medium. This is another in- 
stance of the distinctly hereditary tendency of me- 
diumistic faculties. 

M. Smith, a man of active and enterprising char- 
acter, died quite suddenly, probably of an embolism, 
at the age of seventy-five years. He had left Hun- 



gary in his youth, and finally established himself at 
Geneva, after having travelled extensively in Italy 
and Algiers, where he remained for several years. 
He spoke fluently Hungarian, German, French, Ital- 
ian, and Spanish, understood English fairly well, and 
also knew Latin and a Kttle Greek. It would seem 
that his daughter has inherited these linguistic apti- 
tudes, but only in a latent and subliminal manner, 
for she has always detested the study of languages, 
and rebelled against learning German, in which she 
took lessons for three years. 

Mme. Smith, who is a kind-hearted woman, with 
much good, practical sense, is sixty-seven years of 
age. Neither she nor her husband was ever a ner- 
vous or psychopathic subject, but both showed a 
marked tendency to broncho-pulmonary affections of 
a somewhat alarming type. Mme. Smith has, be- 
sides, suffered frequently from rheumatism. H6lfene 
does not appear to have inherited these tendencies; 
she has always enjoyed robust health, and has not 
even had the slight diseases usually incidental to 

Although both M. and Mme. Smith were Protes- 
tants, through a chain of peculiar circumstances their 
daughter was baptized a Catholic shortly after her 
birth, her name being inscribed some months later 
on the register of the Protestant church of Geneva. 
The memory of this unusual baptism has certainly 
not been lost by Helfene's subHminal imagination, 
and has duly contributed to the hypothesis of a mys- 
terious origin. Of the years of childhood I know 
nothing specially interesting. At the intermediate 
B 17 


school, at which she passed only a year, and where I 
have consulted the records of her class, she was not 
distinguished either for good or ill from the point 
of view of deportqient, but she certainly did not reveal 
the full measure of her intelHgence, since she failed 
to pass the examinations at the end of the year, 
a fact which decided her entrance upon an appren- 
ticeship. On the other hand, the worthy pastor 
who gave her religious instruction somewhat later, 
and who has never lost sight of her since, has fur- 
nished me with most eulogistic testimonials as to 
her character ; he remembers her as a young girl of 
serious disposition, intelligent, thoughtful, faithful 
in the discharge of her duties, and devoted to her 

M. Smith never showed the least trace of mediumis- 
tic phenomena; from having been very indifferent, oi 
even hostile, to spiritism until his daughter began to 
interest herself in it, he finally succumbed to her in- 
fluence and became a believer in that doctrine towards 
the close of his life. Mme. Smith, on the contrary, 
has always been predisposed to it, and has experienced 
several phenomena of that nature in the course of her 
Ufe. At the period of the epidemic of "table-tipping" 
which raged in our country about the middle of this 
century, she too experimented quite successfully for 
a while upon the table with her friends and acquaint- 
ances. Later, she had some sporadic visions. The 
following is one of the most typical. While her lit- 
tle daughter three years old was ill, Mme. Smith 
awoke in the middle of the night and saw an angel, 
of dazzHng brightness, standing by the side of the 


little bed with its hands stretched out above the 
child ; after some moments the apparition gradual- 
ly dissolved. Mme. Smith awakened her husband 
and told him of the fatal significance which she at- 
tached to the vision, but he, unable to see anything, 
ridiculed her superstitious fears. As a matter of fact, 
the child died on the following day, to the great sur- 
prise of the physician attending her. This is a fine ex- 
ample of true maternal presentiment, subconsciously 
felt and transferring itself into the normal conscious- 
ness by a visual hallucination which borrowed for its 
symboUc content an appropriate popular image. 

Mme. Smith never knew her mother, who died 
shortly after her birth; but she recalls and has related 
to me some characteristic visions of her grandmother, 
who brought her up; various phenomena connected 
with one of Helene's brothers (hearing of steps in the 
night, etc.) have proved to her that one of her sons, at 
least, is a medium. 

H^l^ne Smith was certainly predisposed, both by 
heredity and temperament, to become a medium, as 
soon as the outward opportunity — that is, the sug- 
gestions of spiritism — should present itself. 

It is evident, indeed, from her recital of events, that 
she was more or less visionary from her infancy. It 
does not appear, however, that she ever manifested 
phenomena capable in themselves of attracting the 
attention of her family. I have not been able to dis- 
cover any indication whatever of crises or attacks of 
an abnormal nature, not even of sleep-walking. Her 
automatisms have been always almost entirely con- 
fined to the sensory or mental sphere, and it is only 



from her own narratives that other people have any 
knowledge of them. They assume the double form 
of reveries more or less conscious, and of hallucina- 
tions properly so called. 

I. Reveries.— The habit of falUng into reverie, of 
building castles in the air, of transporting one's self 
into other conditions of existence, or of telUng one's 
self stories in which one plays the chief role, is more 
frequent among women than among men, and in 
childhood and youth than in mature years. This pro- 
pensity seems to have always been extremely marked 
in the case of Mile. Smith, since from her school-girl 
days she has shown herself to be of a sedentary and 
domestic temperament, preferring the quiet compan- 
ionship of her mother to the games of her comrades, 
and her needle- work to out-door recreations. The 
fragments which have survived in H61fene's conscious 
memory are all that is known to us of the content of 
these reveries, but it suffices, nevertheless, to reveal 
to us the general tone of her fictions, and to show 
us that the images suddenly surging up before her 
mental vision had a peculiar, often very fantastic, 
character, and which enables us to see in them the be- 
ginnings of her later great somnambulistic romances. 
.^ It is to be noticed also that the designs, embroideries, 
varied artistic works, which were always the favorite 
occupations of her moments of leisure and in which 
she excels, were almost always, from her infancy, 
not copies of exterior models, but the products of her 
own invention, marked with the bizarre and original 
stamp of her internal images. Moreover, these pieces 
of work grew under her fingers with an ease and 



rapidity that astonished herself. They made them- 
selves, as it were. 

She was always fond of indulging in day-dreams, 
and recalls many a half-hour passed motionless in 
an easy -chair, on which occasions she was accus- 
tomed to see all kinds of strange things, but, being 
of a very reticent nature, she seldom mentioned them 
to her parents for fear of not being understood. She 
used to see highly colored landscapes, a lion of stone 
with a mutilated head, fanciful objects on pedestals, 
etc. She does not remember the details, but does 
clearly recollect that they all bore a close resemblance 
to her Hindoo and Martian visions of later years. 

These phantasmagoria also appeared to her in 
the night. She remembers, among other things, to 
have seen, when about fourteen or fifteen years old, 
a bright Ught thrown against the wall of her room, 
which then seemed to be filled with strange and un- 
known beings. She had the impression of being 
fuUy awake, but it suddenly occurred to her that she 
must have been dreaming, and it was only then that 
she comprehended that it was really a "vision" which 
she had experienced. 

2 Hallucinations. — In the foregoing examples it 
would be difficult to say to exactly which category 
the psychologic facts belong, especially the noctur- 
nal phenomena, and one may hesitate whether to re- 
gard them as simple dreams of a very vivid character, 
hypnagogic or hypnopompic * visions, or as veritable 

*This term is used to designate the visions which manifest 
themselves at the moment of awakening from sleep immediate- 



hallucinations. On the other hand, we undoubtedly 
have the right to give the latter designation to the 
numerous apparitions which Mile. Smith has when 
in full possession of her senses in the daytime. 

One day, for example, as she was playing out-of- 
doors with a friend, she saw some one following her, 
and mentioned the fact to her companion, who could 
not see any one. The imaginary individual, after 
having followed her around a tree for a moment, 
disappeared, and she was unable to find him again. 

Of an entirely different order are the strange char- 
acters which she remembers having sometimes in- 
voluntarily substituted for French letters when writ- 
ing to her friends, which must be regarded as grapho- 
motor hallucinations. These were undoubtedly the 
same characters which at other times appeared to her 
in visual images. 

This was the prelude to the phenomenon so fre- 
quently experienced by her in the last few years, and 
of which we shall hereafter see many examples — 
namely, automatic writing, mingling with her ordi- 
nary chirography in her waking state. 

Alongside of hallucinations like these, which do 
not show any intentional or useful character and are 
only a capricious and fortuitous irruption into the nor- 
mal consciousness, mere dreams or fancies filling up 
the sub-conscious strata, there are also manifested 
in H61bne's case some hallucinations of a manifest 
utility, which have in consequence the sense of mes- 

ly prior to complete awakening, and which form a pendant to 
the well-known, much more frequent hypnagogic hallucinations 
arising in the intermediate state between sleep and waking. 



sages addressed by the subliminal consciousness of 
the subject to her normal consciousness, by way of 
warning and protection. It is to be noted that these 
hallucinations, wlaich might be called teleological, 
have lately been claimed by Leopold, although he 
has no recollection of, and does not assert himself to 
be the author of, the earlier ones. 

The following is a curious example : At about the 
age of seventeen or eighteen, Hel ne was returning 
from the country one evening, carrjang a fine bou- 
quet of flowers. During the last minutes of the jour- 
ney she heard behind her a peculiar cry of a bird, 
which seemed to her to warn her against some 
danger, and she hastened her steps without looking 
behind. On her arrival at home the cry followed her 
into her room without her having been able to see the 
creature from which it emanated. She went tired to 
bed, and in the middle of the night awoke in great 
pain, but was unable to cry out. At that moment 
she felt herself gently lifted, together with the pillow 
on which she lay, as if by two friendly hands, which 
enabled her to recover her voice and call her moth- 
er, who hastened to comfort her, and carried the 
flowers, which were too odorous, out of the room. 
Leopold, on being interrogated recently during a 
somnambulism of Helene as to this incident, coming 
up again after so many years, has a very clear rec- 
ollection of it and gives the following explanation. 

It was not really the cry of a bird, but it was he, 
Leopold, who caused Helene to hear a sort of whistle, 
hoping thereby to attract her attention to the dan- 
ger lurking in the bouquet of flowers, in which was 



a great deal of garden-mint of powerful odor. Un- 
fortunately H61ene did not understand, and retained 
the bouquet in her room. He adds that his failure 
to give a more clear and intelligible warning was 
due to the fact that it was at that time impossible 
for him to do so. The whistle which Helfene took 
for the cry of a bird was all that it was in his power 
to utter. It was again he who intervened at the 
moment of her nocturnal illness by raising her head 
in order to enable her to call for help. 

I have no reason to doubt the substantial accuracy 
either of the account given by H^lfene and her mother, 
or of the explanation recently furnished by Leopold. 
The incident belongs to the category of well-known 
cases where a danger of some sort not suspected by 
the normal personality, but which is subconsciously 
known or recognized, is warded off by a preservative 
hallucination, either sensory (as here — the cry of the 
bird) or motor (as in the lifting of the body). The 
subliminal consciousness is not always able to give 
a clear message; in the present case, the auditive 
automatism remained in a state of elementary hal- 
lucination, a simple whistle, without being able to 
elevate it to a distinct verbal hallucination. Its gen- 
eral warning sense, however, was understood by 
Helene, thanks to the confused feeling of danger that 
she felt at the same time. Moreover, this confused 
feeling, which caused her to quicken her steps, it 
seems to me, ought not to be considered as the conse- 
quence of the whistle she heard, but rather as a par- 
allel phenomenon; the appearance or the odor of the 
mint she was carrying, while not attracting her con- 



scious attention, nevertheless dimly roused in her an 
idea of the danger lurking in the flowers, and that 
idea in turn affected her clear consciousness under the 
double form of a vague emotion of danger and a verbo- 
auditive translation which did not go so far as to 
formulate itself explicitly. 

Under circumstances of a nature calculated to cause 
a strong emotional shock, and especially when the 
psychic sphere which involves the sentiment of 
modesty is strongly acted upon, Helene has a vis- 
ual hallucination of a man clothed in a long, brown 
robe, with a white cross on his breast, Uke a monk, 
who comes to her aid, and accompanies her in silence 
as long as the necessity for his presence continues. 
This unknown protector, always silent, each time 
appearing and disappearing in a sudden and mys- 
terious manner, is no other than Leopold himself, 
according to the recent affirmations of the latter. 

We should naturally expect that Helene would have 
had in her youth many striking experiences of pre- 
vision, marvellous intuition, divination, etc., which 
are among the most diffuse forms of teleological 
automatism. Such, however, does not seem to have 
been the fact ; neither she nor her mother has re- 
counted to me anything remarkable of this nature, 
and they confine themselves to a general affirmation 
of frequent presentiments, which were subsequently 
justified as to the persons and events with which thej'^ 
were connected. 

All the examples which I have above cited concur 
in bringing to light the strong penchant of Mile. 
Smith towards automatism. But from the point of 



view of their meaning there is a notable difference 
between the teleological phenomena, presentiments 
or hallucinations of a manifest utility, and those 
which have none— mere reveries and other perturba- 
tions, which are altogether superfluous, if not actually 
detrimental, to H^lbne's normal personahty. 

There are dreams and other automatisms abso- 
lutely useless which have insinuated themselves 
without rhyme or reason into H^leuo's normal Ufe. 
One does not know how or in what manner to inter- 
pret these phenomena, capricious and fortuitous as 
they seem to be, and they remain isolated, inconsid- 
erable facts, without bearing and without interest, 
since they cannot be attached to any central prin- 
ciple, to one mother-idea or fundamental emotion. 

We are, therefore, reduced to certain conjectures, 
the most reasonable of which is that these diverse 
fragments make part of some vast subconscious cre- 
ation, in which all the being of Mile. Smith, crushed 
and bruised by the conditions which the realities of life 
have imposed upon her, as is more or less the case with 
each one of us, gave free wing to the deep aspirations 
of its nature and expanded into the fiction of an exist- 
ence more brilliant than her own. All that we know 
of H^lbne's character, both as a child and as a young 
girl, shows us that her dominant emotional note was 
a sort of instinctive inward revolt against the modest 
environment in which it was her lot to be born, a pro- 
found feeling of dread and opposition, of inexplicable 
malaise, of bitter antagonism against the whole ol 
her material and intellectual environment. While 
showing herself always very devoted to her parents 



and brothers, she had only feeble natural af&nities for 
them. She felt like a stranger in her family and as 
one away from home. She had a feeling of isolation, 
of abandonment, of exile, which created a sort of gulf 
between her and her family. So strong were these 
feelings that she actually one day seriouslj' asked her 
parents if it was absolutely certain that she was their 
daughter, or whether it was not possible that the nurse 
might some day by mistake have brought home an- 
other child from the daily walk. 

This want of adaptation to her environment, this 
sort of mysterious homesickness for an unknown 
country, shows itself in a characteristic manner in the 
following fragment of narrative, in which Helfene, 
who has always attributed great importance to 
dreams, tells of one in which an isolated house fig- 
ured. " To me this retired mansion, in which I lived 
alone, isolated, represents my life, which from my in- 
fancy has been neither happy nor gay. Even while 
very young I do not remember to have shared anj'^ of 
the tastes or anj^ of the ideas of the members of my 
family. Thus during the whole of my childhood I 
was left in what I call a profound isolation of heart 
And in spite of all, in spite of this complete want of 
sympathy, I could not make up my mind to marry, 
although I had several opportunities. A voice was 
always saying, ' Do not hurry: the time has not ar- 
rived; this is not the destiny for which you are re- 
served.' And I have listened to that voice, which 
has absolutely nothing to do with conscience, and I 
do not regret it, for since I have engaged in spirit- 
ism I have found myself so surrounded with sym- 



pathy and friendships that I have somewhat forgot- 
ten my sad lot." 

This quotation speaks volumes in regard to the 
turn of mind and the emotional disposition which 
ruled Hilhne as a little girl. It is surely, so to speak, 
the vulgar story and the common lot of all; many a 
child, many a youth, many an unrecognized genius, 
feel themselves suffocating in their too narrow en- 
vironment when the latent energies of life begin to 
ferment. But there are differences in kind and in 
degree. With Mile. Helena Smith the sentiment of 
not having been made for her environment, and of be- 
longing by nature to a higher sphere, was intense 
and lasting. Her mother always had the impres- 
sion that Helbne was not happy, and wondered that 
she was so serious, so absorbed, so wanting in the 
exuberance of spirits natural to her age. Her father 
and her brothers, not comprehending the real reasons 
for this absence of gayety, taxed her very unjustly 
with pride and hauteur, and accused her sometimes of 
despising her humble surroundings. There are shades 
of feeling which can only be understood when they 
have been experienced. H61fene well knew that she 
really had no contempt for her material and social 
environment, which, on the contrary, inspired her 
with respect, but which simply was not congenial to 
her nature and temperament. 

To this fundamental feeling of imprisonment in a 
too paltry sphere was joined, in H61bne's case, a 
timid disposition. Dark^ess, the least noise, the 
creaking of the furniture, made her tremble; by day, 
a person walking behind her, an unexpected move- 



ment, the ringing of the door-bell, gave her the im- 
pression that some one wishing to harm her had 
come to seize her and carry her off. On the whole, 
Helbne's tendency to be startled by everything and 
nothing constituted with her a grievous panophobia, 
a state of fear and insecurity which greatly strength- 
ened her impression of want of union — of mesal- 
liance — with an environment to which she was de- 
cidedly superior. 

It is easy now to see the connection between that 
depressing emotionaUsm which was the attribute of 
Helene's childhood and the slightly megalomaniac 
tone of her later subliminal romances. The idea 
intrudes itself that, in spite of — or by reason of — 
their apparent contrast, these two traits are not 
independent of each other, but bound by the tie of 
cause and effect. But this causal connection is in 
great danger of being interpreted in a precisely in- 
verse sense by the empirical psychologist and the 
metaphysical occultist. The latter will explain Mile. 
Smith's curious impression of strangeness and su- 
periority to the base conditions of her actual existence, 
by her illustrious previous incarnations; the psy- 
chologist, on the contrary, will see in that same im- 
pression the wholly natural origin of her grandiose 
somnambuHstic personifications. In default of a com- 
plete understanding, always dubious, between these 
so different points of view, of which we shall speak 
later, it will be advisable to adopt at least a pro- 
visional modus Vivendi, based on the party-wall of 
the native constitution or individual character of Mile. 
Smith. On the farther side of that wall, in eternity, 



so to speak, a parte ante which precedes the arrival 
of H^lfene into this Ufe, the occultist will have full lati- 
tude to imagine such a succession of existences as it 
shall please him in order to explain the character she 
has had from her infancy. But on this side of the 
wall — that is to say, within the limits of her present 
life — the psychologist will have the right to ignore all 
these prenatal metempsychoses, and taking for his 
point of departure the innate constitution of H^lfene, 
without troubling himself about anything she may 
have received by the accidents of heredity or preserved 
from her royal pre-existences, he will endeavor to ex- 
plain by that same constitution, as it reveals itself 
in her daily life, the genesis of her subliminal crea- 
tions under the action of occasional exterior influ- 
ences. The occultist, then, can have the pleasure 
of regarding Mile. Smith's characteristic trait as a 
child, that impression of solitude and wandering 
about in a world for which she was not made, as the 
effect of her real past greatnesses, while the psychol- 
ogist will be permitted to see in it the cause of her 
future dreams of grandeur. 

The emotional disposition which I have depicted, 
and which is one of the forms under which the mal- 
adaptation of the organism, physical and mental, 
to the hard conditions of the environment, betrays 
itself, seems therefore to me to have been the source 
and starting-point for all the dreamings of H6- 
Ifene in her childhood. Thence came these visions, 
always warm, luminous, highly colored, exotic' 
bizarre; and these brilliant apparitions, superbly 
dressed, in which her antipathy for her insipid and 



unpleasant surroundings betrays itself, her weari- 
ness of ordinary, commonplace people, her disgust 
for prosaic occupations, for vulgar and disagreeable 
things, for the narrow house, the dirty streets, the 
cold winters, and the gray sky. Whether these im- 
ages, very diverse, but of the same brilliant quality, 
were already existent in Helene's subconscious 
thought while still a child or a young girl, we are un- 
able to say. It is, however, probable that their sys- 
tematization was far from attaining to such a degree 
of perfection as they have presented during the past 
few years under the influence of spiritism. 

All the facts of automatism to which Helene can 
assign a vaguely approximate date group them- 
selves around her fifteenth year, and are all included 
between the limits of her ninth and twentieth years. 

This evident connection with a phase of develop- 
ment of major importance has been confirmed to me 
by Leopold on various occasions, who says that he 
appeared to Helfene for the first time in her tenth 
year, on an exceptional occasion of extreme fright, 
but after that, not until about four years later, be- 
cause the "physiological conditions" necessary to 
his apparition were not yet reaUzed. The moment 
they were reahzed, he says, he began to manifest 
himself, and it is at the same period, according to 
him, that Helfene commenced to recover memories 
of her Hindoo existence, under the form of strange 
visions of which she comprehended neither the nat- 
ure nor the origin. 

After the age of about twenty years, without af- 
firming or believing that her viMons and appari- 



tions ceased altogether. Mile. Smith has no striking 
recollections of any, and she has not told me of any- 
psychic phenomenon experienced by her in the series 
of years immediately preceding her entrance into 
spiritism. We may infer from this, with some reason, 
that the ebullitions of the imaginative subconscious 
life gradually became calm after the explosion of 
the period we have mentioned. They had been ap- 
peased. The conflict between H^lfene's inner nature 
and the environment in which she was forced to live 
became less fierce. A certain equilibrium was estab- 
lished between the necessities of practical life and 
her inward aspirations. On the one hand, she re- 
signed herself to the necessities of reality; and if her 
native pride could not yield to the point of condescend- 
ing to a marriage, honorable undoubtedly, but for 
which she felt she was not intended, we must never- 
theless pay homage to the perseverance, the fidelity, 
the devotion which she always brought to the ful- 
filment of her family and business duties. On the 
other hand, she did not permit the flame of the ideal 
to be extinguished in her, and it reacted upon her 
environment as strongly as possible, making its 
imprint upon her personality well marked. 

She introduced a certain stamp of elegance into 
the modest home of her parents. She arranged for 
herself a small salon, coquettish and comfortable in 
its simplicity. She took lessons in music, and 
bought herself a piano. She hung some old engrav- 
ings on her walls, secured some Japanese vases, a 
jardiniere filled with plants, cut flowers in pretty 
vases, a hanging lamp with a beautiful shade of her 



own make, a table-cover which she had put together 
and embroidered herself, some photographs curiously 
framed according to her own design; and out of this 
harmonious whole, always beautifully kept, she 
evolved something original, bizarre, and delightful, 
conforming well to the general character of her fan- 
tastic subconsciousness. 

At the same time that Mile. Smith succeeded in ac- 
commodating herself to the conditions of her exist- 
ence, the state of latent timidity in which she lived 
gradually diminished. She is still occasionally 
overcome by fear, but much less freqitently than 
formerly, and never without a legitimate exterior 

Indeed, judging her by these latter years, I do not 
recognize in her the child or young girl of former 
days, always timid, trembling, and frightened, tac- 
iturn and morose, who has been depicted to me by 
herself and her mother. 

It seems to me, then, that the wildness of the 
dreams and automatisms, which were symptoms of 
a tendency to mental disintegration, which marked 
the years of pubertj'', was svicceeded by a progres- 
sive diminution of these troubles and a gradual gain- 
ing of wisdom on the part of the subliminal strata. 
We may presume that this harmonization, this re- 
ciprocal adaptation of the internal to the external, 
would in time have perfected itself, and that the whole 
personality of Mile. Smith would have continued to 
consolidate and unify itself, if spiritism had not come 
all of a sudden to rekindle the fire which still slum- 
bered under the ashes and to give a new start to the 
c 33 


subliminal mechanism which was beginning to grow 

The suppressed fictions aroused themselves, the 
reveries of former years resumed their sway, and the 
images of subliminal phantasy began to be more pro- 
lific than ever under the fertile suggestions of occult 
philosophy, rallying-points or centres of crystalliza- 
tion — such as the idea of former existences and re- 
incarnations — around which they had only to group 
and organize themselves in order to give birth to the 
vast somnambulistic constructions the development 
of which we shall be obliged to follow. 



HAVING endeavored in the preceding chapter 
to reconstruct in its chief characteristics the 
history of Mile. Smith up to the time when 
spiritism begins to be mixed up with it, I would have 
preferred in the present chapter to make a detailed 
study of her psychological life during these last years, 
without however, as yet, touching upon the content, 
properly so called, of her automatisms. Not having 
been able to accomplish this design to my satisfaction, 
for want of time and patience, I shall endeavor at least 
to systematize my notes somewhat by grouping them 
under four heads. I shall trace the birth of H61fene's 
mediumship as far as it is possible for me to do 
so from the meagre accounts I have been able to 
procure concerning a time at which I was not ac- 
quainted with her. Then, passing to facts with 
which I am more familiar, I will describe rapidly 
her normal state as I have been able to see it for the 
last five years. This would have been the place for a 
study of individual psychology, but I have been com- 
pelled to abandon the idea on account of multiple 
difficulties. Finally, I will offer a few remarks on 



the abnormal side of her existence, which it is con- 
venient to divide into two groups, namely, the spon- 
taneous—that is to say, springing up of themselves in 
the course of her ordinary life; or those provoked by 
the voluntary seeking for favorable circumstances, 
and which constitute the seances properly so called. 

I. The Mediumistic Beginnings of Mlle. 

In the winter of 1891-92 Mile. Smith heard spirit- 
ism spoken of by one of her acquaintances, Mme. 
Y., who lent her Denis's book, Aprhs la Mort. The 
perusal of this work having vividly excited H61fene's 
curiosity, Mme. Y. agreed to accompany her to her 
friend, Mlle. Z., who was interested in the same 
questions, and who produced automatic writing. 
They then decided to form a circle for regular experi- 
mentation. I take from the notes which Mlle. Z. has 
had the kindness to furnish me, the account, unfort- 
unately very brief, of the seances at which H61fene's 
mediumistic faculties first made their appearance. 

"It was on the 20th of February, 1892, that I made 
the acquaintance of Mile. Smith. She was introduced 
to me by Mme. Y., for the purpose of endeavoring to 
form a spiritistic group. She was then altogether a 
novice in spiritism, never having attempted any- 
thing, and did not suspect the faculties that have 
since developed themselves in her. 

"February 20. — First reunion: We seat ourselves 
at the table ; we succeed in making it oscillate. We 
regard Mme. Y. as the medium upon whom we can 



reckon. We try for writing. We receive through me 
encouragements to proceed. 

"February 26. — Progress; the table moves itself 
considerably, salutes one by one all the members of 
the group, and gives us certain names, of which only 
one is recognized . . . Writing : Mile. Smith, who 
tries for the first time, writes mechanically, her eyes 
closed, some phrases, of which we can decipher some 

"March 11. — Nothing at this seance, except a com- 
munication written by myself. 

"March 18. — Progress; clear communication by the 
table. Attempt to experiment in the darkness (which 
was not absolute, the hall outside having some incan- 
descent Ughts which diffused a feeble light; we could 
distinguish each other with difficulty). Mile. Smith 
sees a balloon, now luminous, now becoming dark : 
she has seen nothing up to this time. Writing: Mile. 
Smith writes mechanically a quite long communica- 
tion from the father of M. K. [a Bulgarian student 
present at the seance]; advice to him." 

At this point the sitters became so numerous that 
they broke up into two groups, of which the one con- 
tinuing to meet with Mile. Z. does not concern us. 
Mile. Smith became a member of the other, which 
met at the house of a lady named N., where weekly 
seances were held for a year and a half (up to the 
end of June, 1893). The records of these meetings, 
kept by Mme. N., are unfortunately very brief and 
obscure on many points of interest to the psychologist. 
Those of the first months are in the handwriting of 
Mile. Smith, who acted as secretary of the group for 



thirty seances. As she only took down at the time 
the headings of the communications of the spirits 
; and wrote out the remainder on the following day^ 
' we cannot rely very strongly on the objective ac- 
curacy of these accounts, which, however, have the 
advantage of presenting to us the mediumship of 
H61fene, as related by herself. She speaks of herself 
in the third person. 

The following is a summary of the two first se- 
y,ances held in this new environment : 
^ " March 25, 1892. — Eleven persons around a large 
and heavy dining-table of oak with two leaves. The 
table is- set in motion, and several spirits come and 
give their names (by raps), and testify to the pleasure 
it gives them to find themselves among us. It is at 
this seance that Mile. Smith begins to distinguish 
vague gleams with long white streamers moving 
from the floor to the ceiling, and then a magnificent 
star, which in the darkness appears to her alone 
throughout the whole of the seance. We augur from 
this that she will end by seeing things more distinctly 
and will possess the gift of clairvoyance. 

"April I. — Violent movements of the table, due to 
a spirit who calls himself David and announces him- 
self as the spiritual guide of the group. Then he 
gives way to another spirit who says he is Victor 
Hugo, and the guide and protector of Mile. Smith, 
who is very much surprised to be assisted by a per- 
son of such importance. He soon disappears. Mile. 
Smith is very much agitated; she has fits of shiv- 
ering, is very cold. She is very restless, and sees 
suddenly, balancing itself above the table, a grin- 



ning, very ill-favored face, with long red hair. She 
is so frightened that she demands that the lights be 
Ht. She is calmed and reassured. The figure dis- 
appears. Afterwards she sees a magnificent bouquet 
of roses of different hues being placed on the table 
before one of the sitters, M. P. All at once she sees 
a small snake come out from underneath the bou- 
quet, which, crawling quickly, perceives the flowers, 
looks at them, tries to reach the hand of M. P., 
withdraws for an instant, comes back slowly, and 
disappears in the interior of the bouquet. Then all 
is dissolved and three raps are given on the table, 
terminating the seance. [M. P. interprets the mean- 
ing of the vision of the bouquet and the serpent as a 
symboUc translation of an emotional impression ex- 
perienced by Mile. Smith]." 

Such was the birth of Helfene's mediumship. 
Scarcely anything happened on the 20th of Febru- 
ary, when the movements of the table were not at- 
tributed to her (although in all probability she caused . 
them); in the following seances she appeared in 
two attempts at automatic writing (unfortunately 
lost) in imitation of the writing medium with whom 
she was sitting. The outcome of this second at- 
tempt leads us to suppose that Helene's faculties 
would have developed rapidly in that direction if she 
had not abandoned it and changed her environment. 

Her visual faculty, suggested by the experiments 
at obscure seances, shows itself on the i8th and 25th 
of March in the form of elementary hallucinations 
or vague figures having their point of departure 
probably in the simple entoptical phenomena, the 



retina's own light, consecutive images, etc. Then, 
encouraged by the predictions of the sitters, she at- 
tained on the 1st of April to visions properly so 
called, having a varied content and a real or symbol- 
ic signification. At the same time her typtological 
automatism was perfecting itself. We recognize it 
in the name of Victor Hugo, coming especially for 
Mile. Smith, and suspect it to have been a name al- 
ready given at the second seance. 

Auditive hallucinations follow closely upon the 
visual, but it is impossible to know at just what 
date, as the records do not clearly indicate wheth- 
er the messages recorded had that origin or were 
rapped out on the table. To these known forms 
of automatism must be added the frequent phe- 
nomena of emotion, shiverings, sadness, restless- 
ness, fear, etc., which are experienced by H61fene 
without knowing why, and are afterwards found 
to be in perfect conformity to, and in evident con- 
nection with, the content of those emotional phe- 
nomena which they generally precede by a few mo- 

Thus, in a half-dozen weekly seances, the me- 
diumship of Mile. Smith was invested with a com- 
plex psychological aspect, which from that time it 
preserved intact for three years, and of which I was 
a witness after I made her acquaintance. This 
rapidity of development is not at all unusual; but 
there is this peculiarity about H61fene, that her me- 
diumistic faculties, after their first appearance, re- 
mained for a long time stationary, and then under- 
went all at once, in the spring of 1895, the enormous 



transformation and tremendous expansion which I 
have described in the first chapter, and to which I 
will not again refer. 

II. Mlle. Smith in Her Normal State 

I was about to say that in her normal state Mlle. 
Smith is normal. Certain scruples restrain me, and 
I correct myself by saying that in her ordinary state 
she seems just like anybody else. By this I mean 
that outside of the gaps which the seances and the 
spontaneous eruptions of automatism make in her 
Hfe, no one would suspect, observing her performance 
of her various duties, or in talking with her on all sorts 
of subjects, all that she is capable of in her abnormal 
states, or the curious treasures which are concealed in 
her subHminal strata. 

With a healthy and ruddy complexion, of good 
height, well proportioned, of regular and harmonious 
features, she breathes health in everything. She pre- 
sents no visible stigmata of degeneration. As to 
psychic defects or anomalies, with the exception of her 
mediumship itself, I know of none, the timidity of her 
youth having entirely disappeared. Her physical 
strength is marvellous, as shown by the fact that 
she bears up under the strain of a business which 
demands nearly eleven hours of her time each day, 
nearly all of which she is compelled to stand on her 
feet, and from which she takes only one week's va- 
cation in summer. Besides this confining work away 
from home, she assists her mother about the house 
morning and evening, in the housekeeping duties, 



and finds time besides to read a little, to practise at 
her piano, and to make the lovely handiwork, which 
she designs and executes herself with remarkable 
originality and good taste. To a Hfe so full must 
be added, besides, the spiritistic seances which she 
is generally willing to give on Sunday, and some- 
times on a weekday evening, very disinterestedly, to 
persons who are interested in psychic questions or 
who desire to consult Leopold on important subjects. 

While hesitating to affirm that a person present- 
ing phenomena so extraordinary as those of medi- 
umship is perfectly normal in other respects, I am 
pleased to discover that as far as Mile. Smith is con- 
cerned, through my conversations with her and as 
the result of my investigations concerning her, she 
does not present a single abnormality, physical, in- 
tellectual, or moral, between the periods of the ir- 
ruptions of her automatisms. Her field of vision, 
which she has permitted me to measure with a Lan- 
dolt perimeter, is normal for white as well as for col- 
ors, for which latter she has a very delicate percep- 
tion. There is no trace of tactile anesthesia in her 
hands. There is no known motor trouble. The 
tremor of the index-finger gives a line, of four oscil- 
lations per second on an average, differing not at 
all from the lines obtained from persons perfectly 
normal (see Fig. 2). 

It cannot be expected that I should paint a full 
moral and intellectual portrait of Mile. Smith, as I 
should be in danger of hurting her feelings in case my 
attempt should come to her notice. I can only touch 
on a few points. One of the most striking is her great 



native dignity; her bearing, her manners, her lan- 
guage are always perfect, and have a certain quality of 
noblesse and pride which accords well with her som- 
nambulistic roles. On occasion she shows a stately 
and regal hauteur. She is very impressionable, and 
feels little things very keenly. Her antipathies as well 
as her sympathies are quick, lively, and tenacious. 
She is energetic and persevering. She knows very 
well what she wants, and nothing passes her by un- 
perceived, nor does she forget anything in the con- 
duct of others towards her. " I see everything, noth- 
ing escapes me, and I forgive but never forget," she 
has often said to me. Perhaps a severe moraUst 
would find in her a certain exaggeration of personal 
sensibility, but that sort of self-love is a very common 
characteristic of human nature, and is very natural in 
mediums who are continually exposed to public crit- 

She is very intelligent and highly gifted. In con- 
versation she shows herself vivacious, sprightly, and 
sometimes sarcastic. Psychic problems, and all ques- 
tions connected with mediumistic phenomena, of which 
she is herself so striking an example, occupy her mind 
a great deal and form the principal subject of her pri- 
vate thoughts and of her conversations with people in 
whom she is interested. 

Her philosophical views are not wanting in origi- 
nality or breadth. She does not believe in spiritism, 
in the generally accepted sense of the term, and has 
never consented, in spite of the advances which have 
been made to her, to become a member of the Geneva 
Society (spiritistic) for Psychic Studies, because, as 



she says, she has no fixed ideas on subjects so obscure, 
does not care for theories, and " does not work in the 
interest of any party." She investigates, she observes, 
she reflects and discusses, having adopted for her mot- 
to," The truth in all things, for all things, and always. " 
There are two points in regard to which she is 
uncompromising — namely, the objective reality of 
Leopold, and the supernormal content of her automa- 
tisms. No one dares tell her that her great invisible 
protector is only an illusory apparition, another part 
of herself, a product of her subconscious imagination; 
nor that the strange peculiarities of her mediumistic 
communications — the Sanscrit, the recognizable sig- 
natures of deceased persons, the thousand correct 
revelations of facts unknown to her— are but old for- 
gotten memories of things which she saw or heard in 
her childhood. Such suppositions being contrary to 
her inmost beliefs, and seemingly false in fact, easily 
irritate her, as being in defiance of good sense and 
an outrage on truth. But outside of these two sub- 
jects she will examine and discuss coolly any hypoth- 
esis one chooses. The idea that she should be the 
reincarnation of a Hindoo princess or of Marie An- 
toinette, that Leopold is really Cagliostro, that the 
visions called Martian are really from the planet 
Mars, etc., all seem to her to conform fully to the 
facts ; but these beliefs are not indispensable to her, 
and she is ready, should they prove to be false, to 
change to other theories— as, for example, telepathy, 
a mixture of occult influences, a mysterious meet- 
ing in her of intuitions coming from some higher 
sphere, etc. 



Undoubtedly the supposition of her pre-existences 
in India and on the throne of France seems to her to 
explain in a plausible manner the feeling, which has 
followed her from childhood, of belonging to a world 
higher than that in which the chance of birth has 
imprisoned her for this Uf e ; but she does not affirm a 
positive beHef in that brilliant past, is not wholly 
convinced of it, and remains in a sensible state of 
expectancy of the true explanation of these ultimate 
mysteries of her life. *[z? 

There is another subject, also, which is close to 
her heart. She has heard it said that in the eyes 
of scientists and physicians mediums are considered 
to be fools, hysterical subjects, or insane, or, in any 
event, abnormal, in the bad sense of the word. But, 
in the Hght of the experience of every day of her life, 
she protests vigorously against this odious insinua- 
tion. She declares emphatically that she is " perfectly 
sane in bodj'^ and mind, not in the least unbalanced," 
and repels with indignation the idea there can be 
any serious abnormality or the least danger in me- 
diumship such as she practises. "I am far from 
being abnormal," she wrote me recently, " and I have 
never been so clear of vision, so lucid, and so apt to 
judge correctly as since I have begun to develop as 
a medium." 

Leopold, too, speaking through her voice during 
her trances, has more than once solenmly testified 
as to her perfect health. He has also returned to the 
subject by letter; we shall find farther on a very in- 
teresting certificate of mental equilibrium dictated 
by him and written by him with her hand, as if to 



give more weight to his declarations (see Fig. 8, 

P- 137.) 

It is incontestable that H^lfene has a very well-or- 
ganized brain, as is evidenced by the admirable man- 
ner in which she manages the important and compli- 
cated department which is under her direction in the 
commercial establishment in which she is employed. 
To accuse her of being insane, simply because she 
is a medium, as some charitable souls (the world is 
full of them) do not hesitate to do sometimes, is, to 
say the least, a most inadmissible petitio principii. 

The opinion which Mile. Smith holds in her normal 
state concerning her automatic faculties is altogether 
optimistic; and there is nothing to prove her in the 
wrong. She regards her mediumship as a rare and 
precious privilege, with which nothing in the world 
would induce her to part. True, she also sees in it 
the reason for the malevolent and unjust judgments, 
the jealousies, the base suspicions, to which the ig- 
norant multitude have in all ages subjected those 
who have succeeded in elevating themselves above 
it through the possession of faculties of this kind. 
But, on the whole, the disadvantages are more than 
counterbalanced by gains of a high order, and the 
inward satisfaction attached to such a gift. And 
here I desire to emphasize the statement, once for 
all, that H61fene does not belong to the class of pro- 
fessional mediums, nor to those who use their me- 
diumship for the purpose of coining money. Mile. 
Smith, who earns her living in the position which her 
intelligence and fitness have secured for her, and 
through which her family enjoys a modest ease, 



never accepts any pecuniary compensation for her 
seances or consultations. Such a traffic in faculties 
which have a sort of religious signification in her 
eyes would be absolutely repugnant to her feeUngs. 

Helfene's spontaneous automatisms have often aided 
her in, without ever having interfered with, her daily 
occupations. There is, happily for her, a great differ- 
ence in intensity between the phenomena of her 
seances and those which break in upon her habitual 
existence, the latter never having caused such dis- 
turbance of her personality as the former. 

In her daily life she has only passing hallucina- 
tions limited to one or two of the senses, superficial 
hemisomnambuUsms, compatible with a certain 
amount of self-possession — in short, ephemeral per- 
turbations of no importance from a practical point of 
view. Taken as a whole, the interventions of the 
subliminal in her ordinary existence are more bene- 
ficial to her than otherwise, since they often bear the 
stamp of utility and appropriateness, which make 
them very serviceable. 

Phenomena of hypermnesia, divination, lost objects 
mysteriously recovered, happy inspirations, true pre- 
sentiments, correct intuitions — in a word, teleologi- 
cal automatisms of every sort — she possesses in so 
high a degree that this small coin of genius is more 
than sufficient to compensate for the inconveniences 
resulting from the distraction and momentary ab- 
sence of mind with which the vision is accompanied. 

In the seances, on the contrary, she presents the 
most grave functional alterations that one can 
imagine, and passes through accesses of lethargy, 



catalepsy, somnambulism, total change of person- 
ality, etc., the least of which would be a very dis- 
agreeable adventure for her if it should happen to 
occur in the street or at her office. 

But here I am obliged to leave Helene's ordinary 
state to enter upon the study of her automatisms. 

Ill, Spontaneous Automatic Phenomena 

The automatisms which occur outside the seances 
in Mile. Smith's every-day life, those, at least, which 
she is able to recall and narrate, are of a frequency 
very variable and utterly independent of any known 
circumstances ; sometimes presenting themselves 
two or three times in the same day; at others, two 
or three weeks will elapse without a single one. 
Extremely diverse in their form and content, these 
phenomena may be divided into three categories, 
based upon their origin. The first proceed from 
impressions received by H61fene in moments of special 
suggestibility; the second are the fortuitous appa- 
ritions above the ordinary level of her consciousness, 
the romances in process of elaboration to which we 
are coming ; the last, which differ from the two 
preceding species (which are always useless, if not 
detrimental) by their beneficial character and their 
adaptation to the needs of the moment, are roused 
by those teleological automatisms to which I have 
already called attention as having occurred in her 
childhood, and which have shared in the general re- 
crudescence of her subconscious Hfe under the lash 
of the spiritistic experiences. 



Let us pass these different cases rapidly in review. 

I. Permanence of exterior suggestions. — The spirit' 
istic reunions are naturally their principal source. I 
do not mean that she has there been subjected to 
experiments in post-hypnotic suggestion. Justice to 
all those who have attended the seances compels the 
statement that they have never abused the suggesti- 
bility which she shows on such occasions, by sug- 
gesting ideas of such a nature as to cause her an- 
noyance on the following days. The most that has 
been attempted has been the suggestion of some small 
matters by way of harmless experiment, to be exe- 
ecuted by her a few moments after awaking from 
her trance. There is no need of intentional sugges- 
tions to influence her in a lasting manner ; there- 
fore we have avoided as far as possible everything 
that might leave disagreeable traces behind, and 
have suggested to her before the end of the seance 
that she have on the morrow no headache, fatigue, 
etc.; but it sometimes happens that certain inci- 
dents, often absolutely insignificant, are engraved 
on her memory in a most unlooked-for manner and 
assail her as inexplicable obsessions during the en- 
suing week. The following are some specimens of 
involuntary suggestion, which generally linger for 
three or four days, but may occasionally continue 
for twelve or fifteen. 

H61ene told me one Sunday that she had been pos- 
sessed several times during the day by the hallu- 
cinatory image of a straw hat, the inside of which 
was turned towards her, and which remained verti- 
cally in the air about three or four feet in front of 
D 49 


her, without being held by any one. She had the 
feeling that this hat belonged to me, and I happened 
finally to recollect that at the seance of the preceding 
Sunday I happened to fan myself with this very 
hat during her final trance, the image of which had 
been engraved on her mind in one of the flashes in 
which she opened her eyes and closed them again 
instantly before her final awaking. This obses- 
sion, said she, was very strong on Monday and the 
following day or two, but lessened somewhat towards 
the end of the week. 

At another time she preserved during a whole week 
the sensation of the pressure of my thumb on her left 
eyebrow. (Compression of the external frontal and 
suborbital nerves is a means I often employ to hasten 
her awaking, after a hint given by Leopold.) 

There happened to her also twice in the same day 
an auditive and visual hallucination of an aged per- 
son whom she did not recognize, but the extremely 
characteristic description of whom corresponds so 
well with that of a gentleman of Geneva who had been 
mentioned to her a few days previously, immediately 
before the commencement of a seance (when she was 
probably already in her state of suggestibility), that 
there is scarcely any doubt but that these apparitions 
were the consequence of that conversation. 

Following another seance where she had, at the 
beginning of a liindoo scene, made vain efforts to 
detach a bracelet from her left wrist, she preserved 
for three days the feeling of something grasping that 
wrist, without understanding what it could be. 

In the same way, various feeHngs of sadness, anger, 


a desire to laugh or to weep, etc., the cause of which 
she was unable to explain, have often followed her for 
a considerable length of time after the seances of which 
these feeUngs were the manifest emotional echo. This 
is often the effect of our dreams on our waking state : 
we forget the dreams, but their influence remains, and 
is often more marked in the dreams of a hypnotized 
person or a somnambulist than in those of ordinary 

The seances are not the exclusive source of the 
involuntary suggestions which trouble Mile. Smith 
in her daily life without any benefit to herself. It is 
evident that on every occasion when she finds herself 
in that particular condition of least resistance which 
we, in our ignorance of its intrinsic nature, designate 
by the convenient name of "suggestibility," she is 
exposed to impressions capable of returning to assail 
her in the course of her dailj'^ occupations. Fortu- 
nately this condition of suggestibility does not seem 
to develop itself readily in her outside of the spiritistic 

2. Irruptions of subliminal reveries. — I shall have 
too many occasions to cite concrete examples of vi- 
sions, voices, and other spontaneous outpourings of 
the work of imagination, which are continually going 
on under the ordinary consciousness of Mile. Smith, 
to dwell long on this point. Some general remarks 
will suffice. 

The connection which the unforeseen phenomena 
maintain with those of the seances themselves is very 
varied. Sometimes we are able to recognize them as 
reproductions, more or less incomplete, of episodes 



which occurred at the preceding seances, and con- 
sider them simple echoes or post-hypnotic repetitions 
of these last. Sometimes, on the contrary, it appears 
that we have to deal with preparatory rehearsals of 
scenes which will unfold themselves at length and 
will be continued at some later seance. Finally, 
sometimes it is a question of tableaux, having no con- 
nection with those which fill up the seances ; they are 
like leaves, flying away never to return, romances 
which are continually being fabricated in the deep 
subUminal strata of Mile. Smith's consciousness. 

H61ene, in fact, does not long remember, nor in much 
detail, with a few exceptions, those visions which take 
place in her ordinary state, and which occur mo.^t 
frequently early in the morning, while she is still in 
bed, or just after she has arisen and while working 
by the light of her lamp ; sometimes in the evening, 
or during the brief moments of rest in the middle of 
the day, and, much more rarely, while in the full 
activity of waking hours she is at her desk. If she 
had not long since, at my request, and with great good 
will, acquired the habit of noting in pencil the essen- 
tial content of these apparitions, either during the 
apparition itself (which she is not always able to do) 
or else immediately afterwards, we should have still 
more deficiencies in the plot of her romances to deplore. 
H61fene's psychological state, during her spontaneous 
visions, is known to me only by her own descriptions. 
She is fortunately a very intelligent observer and a 
good psychologist. 

Her narratives show that her visions are accom- 
panied by a certain degree of obnubilation. For a 



few moments, for instance, the room, the light of 
the lamp, disappear from before her eyes ; the noise 
of the wheels in the street ceases to be heard ; she 
feels herself becoming inert and passive, while a feel- 
ing of bliss and ecstatic well-being permeates her 
entire individuality in the presence of the spectacle 
wliich appears to her ; then the vision, to her great 
regret, slowly fades from her view, the lamp and the 
furniture reappear, the outside noises again make 
themselves heard, and she is astonished that the 
idea did not occur to her to put down in pencil the 
strange words she has heard, or that she did not 
touch or caress, for example, the beautiful birds of 
many-colored plumage flying and singing around 
her. Sometimes she has maintained sufficient pres- 
ence of mind to scribble from dictation the words 
striking her ear ; but the wretched handwriting 
proves that her attention, all absorbed by the appari- 
tion, could not follow the pencil, and that the hand 
directed it badly. At other times the reverse is the 
fact. It a.ppears in the course of the vision as though 
some one took hold of her arm and guided it in spite 
of herself ; the result is splendid calhgraphies, wholly 
different from her own handwriting, executed with- 
out her knowledge, and during the execution of 
which her mind was wholly absent, if we can judge 
from the surprise she shows on awaking when she 
finds before her these strange writings, and from 
analogous scenes which transpire at the seances. 

The preceding is applicable especially to the more 
frequent cases — that is, to the morning or evening 
visions which happen to her at home, in that inter- 



mediate condition between sleep and waking, always 
so favorable, as we know, to the development of un- 
conscious cerebration. But there are innumerable 
shades and gradations between this middle type, 
so to speak, and its opposite extremes ; on the one 
hand is the fortunately very exceptional case where 
she is seized with ecstasy while at her place of busi- 
ness ; and, on the other hand, that in which the auto- 
matism limits itself to inscribing some unknown 
characters or words in another hand than her own in 
her correspondence and writings — peculiar lapsus 
calami, which she is not slow to perceive on coming 
to herself. 

The following is an example ot a case of ecstasy : 
Having ascended one day to an upper story, to 
look for something in a dark store-room, she had an 
apparition of a man in a turban and large white cloak, 
whom she had the impression of recognizing,* and 
whose presence filled her with a delightful calm and 
profound happiness. .She could not recall the con- 
versation which passed between them, which, though 
in an unknown language, she nevertheless had the 
feeling of having perfectly comprehended. On the 
departure of the mysterious visitor she was astonished 
to find herself brought back to sombre reality, and 
stupefied on noting by her watch that the interview 
had lasted much longer than it had seemed to do. 
She preserved all that day a delicious feeling of well- 
being as the effect of the strange apparition. 

* Vision relating to the Oriental cycle ; the man was the Arab 
sheik, the father of Simandini. 



The phenomenon of mingling strange writing with 
her own is of relatively frequent occurrence, and we 
shall see divers specimens of it in the following 
chapters, apropos of the romances to which it especial- 
ly belongs. I will give here only one complex ex- 
ample, which will serve at the same time as an 
illustration of a special kind of automatism, very 
harmless, to which H61ene is also subject, and which 
consists in making verses, not without knowing, but 
at least without intending to do so, and in connec- 
tion with the most trifling matters. 

There are times when, in spite of herself, she 
feels compelled to speak in distinct rhymes of eight 
feet, which she does not prepare, and does not per- 
ceive until the moment she has finished uttering 
them.* In this particular case it is by a quatrain 
(a very unusual occurrence) that she repUes to some 
one who had consulted her in regard to some blue 

* The following are some of these impromptu rhymes, surely 
up to the level of the circumstances which inspired them, but by 
which we ought not to judge the conscious poetic faculties of 
Mile. Smith : 
To a little girl proud of her new shoes : 

" Marcelle est la, venez la voir, 
Elle a ses petits souliers noirs." 

In a " culinary" discussion : 

"Vous dfetestez les omelettes, 
Autant que moi les cotelettes." 

To a person slightly vain : 

"Vos richesses, ma chere amie, 
Ne me font point du tout envie !" 



ribbon. But this quatrain, by its style, by the vision 
of the blond head of a child which accompanies it, 
and by the manner also in which she writes it, causes 
us to hazard the conjecture that it is an inspiration 
depending on the underlying Royal cycle; while in the 
following letter, in which she narrates the affair to 
M. Lemaitre, her pen inscribes, all unknown to her, 
strange characters evidently due to the cropping out 
of the Martian cycle, of which she speaks in the 
letter (see Fig. i, a passage of that letter making a 
Martian M and V in the words vers and rimait) : 

'h'OUi/tA*^ Aa^e' en, ^uJ rJorS 9n*^*u 

Fig. 1. Fragment of a letter (normal handwriting) of Mile. Smith, containing two 
Martian letters. (Collection of M. Lemaitre.) 

" I have heard some Martian words this afternoon, 
but have not been able to retain them in my mind. I 
send you those heard a few days ago, when I had the 
vision of which I am about to make you the design 
(Martian lamp). Yesterday morning I for the first 
time spoke in verse, without being aware of it ; it was 
only on finishing the sentence that I perceived that 
it rhymed, and I reconstructed it to assure myself of 
the fact. A little later, on examining some ribbons, 
I began anew to speak in verse, and I send those also: 



they will amuse you. It is a curious thing that I 
had at that same moment the vision of the blond 
curly head of a child bound with a blue ribbon. The 
vision lasted more than a minute. What is still more 
curious, I do not at all recollect having worn ribbons 
of that shade as a child : I remember some rose-colored, 
some red, but I have no recollection whatever of any 
blue ribbons. I really do not know why I spoke these 
words ; it is the more amusing. I was obHged to 
speak them, I assure you, in spite of myself. I was 
eager to put them on paper, and I noticed in writing 
them down that, for a moment, the handwriting was 
not regular, that is, it was slightly different from 

Here is the quatrain, the pencil impression of which 
is too faint to enable a fac-simile to be reproduced 
here, and in it I have indicated by italics the words 
and syllables the calligraphy or orthography of which 
differs from that of Helfene and becomes the style of au- 
tomatic handwriting called that of Marie Antoinette : 

" Les nuances de ces rubans 
Me rappelent mes jeunes ans ; 
Ce bleu verdS., je m'en souct>», 
Sans mes cheveux alloit si bien !" 

The head of curly blond hair, ornamented with 
blue ribbons, also figures in the visions of the Royal 
cycle, and appears to belong, as is here the case, some- 
times to Marie Antoinette herself, sometimes to one 
or other of her children, especially the Dauphin. 

While it is generally easy to connect these eruptions 
of the subliminal volcano with the various dreams 



from which they emanate, such is not always the case, 
and there are visions the origin of which is doubtful 
and ambiguous. We must not forget that, alongside 
of the grand cycles of Helena which are better known, 
there also float in her latent imagination innumer- 
able small accessory systems, more or less indepen- 
dent, which supply a large part of the seances, such 
as revelations of former events connected with the 
families of the sitters, etc. ; it is not always possible 
to identify the fragments coming from these isolated 

3. Teleological automatisms. — The spontaneous 
phenomena of this category, possessing as a common 
characteristic a practical utility for H61fene more or 
less marked, can be subdivided into two classes, ac- 
cording to their direct attachment to the personality 
of Leopold, or their not belonging to any distinct per- 
sonality, and which only express in a vivid manner 
the result of the normal working, although more or 
less unconscious, of the faculties of memory and of 
reason. I confine myself now to citing one case of 
each of these classes, of which we shall see other 
examples in the chapters relating to Leopold and to 
supernormal appearances. 

One day Mile. Smiih, wishing to take down a large 
and heavy object from a high shelf , was prevented from 
so doing by the fact that her uplifted arms seemed as 
though petrified and incapable of being moved for 
some seconds ; she saw in this a warning and gave 
up her intention. In a later seance Leopold said 
that it was he himself who had caused H61fene's 
arras to become rigid, in order to prevent her from 



attempting to lift the object which was too heavy for 
her and would have caused some accident to befall 

On another occasion a clerk who sought vainly for 
a certain pattern asked H^lfene if she knew what had 
become of it. H61bne replied mechanically and with- 
out reflection, "Yes, it was sent to Mr. J." (a customer 
of the firm) ; at the same time there appeared before 
her in l-arge black figures about eight or ten inches in 
height the number i8, and she added, instinctively, " It 
was eighteen days ago." This statement caused the 
clerk to smile, because of its improbability, the rule 
of the house being that customers to whom patterns 
were lent for, examination must return them inside of 
three days or a messenger would be sent for them. 
H61fene, struck by this objection, and having no con- 
scious recollection of the affair, rephed, " Really, per- 
haps I am wrong." Meanwhile, an investigation of 
the date indicated in the records of the house showed 
that she was perfectly correct. It was through vari- 
ous negligences, with which she had nothing at all to 
do, that the pattern had not been sent for or recovered. 
Leopold, on being asked, has no recollection of this 
circumstance, and does not appear to have been the 
author of this automatism of cryptomnesia, nor of 
many other analogous phenomena through which 
Helbne's subconscious memory renders her signal 
services and has gained for her a well-merited and 
highly valued reputation. 

Thus we see that if the spontaneous automatisms 
of Mile. Smith are often the vexatious result of her 
moments of suggestibiHty, or the tempestuous irrup- 



tion of her subliminal reveries, they also often as- 
sume the form of useful messages. Such compensa- 
tion is not to be despised. 

IV. The Seances 

Mile. Smith has never been hypnotized. In her 
instinctive aversion, which she shares with the ma- 
jority of mediums, to anything that seems Uke an 
attempt to experiment upon her, she has always re- 
fused to allow herself to be put to sleep. She does not 
realize that in avoiding the idea she has actually 
accepted the reaHty, since her spiritistic experiences 
in reality constitute for her an auto-hypnotization, 
which inevitably degenerates into a hetero-hypnoti- 
zation, as she is brought under the influence of one or 
other of the persons present .at the seance. 

All her seances have somewhat of the same psy- 
chologic form, the same method of development run- 
ning through their immense diversity of content. 
She places herself at the table with the idea and the 
intention of bringing into play her mediumistic fac- 
ulties. After an interval, varying from a few seconds 
to a quarter of an hour, generally in a shorter time 
if the room is well darkened and the sitters are per- 
fectly silent, she begins to have visions, preceded and 
accompanied by very varied sensory and motor dis- 
turbances, after which she passes into a complete 
trance. In that state, it rarely happens, and then 
only for a few moments, that she is entirely uncon- 
scious of the persons present, and, as it were, shut 
up within her personal dream and plunged into pro- 



found lethargy (hypnotic syncope). Ordinarily she 
remains in communication, more or less close, with 
one of the sitters, who thus finds himself in the same 
relation towards her as a hypnotizer towards his 
subject, and able to take advantage of that rapport, 
by giving her any immediate or future suggestions 
that he may desire. When the seance consists only 
of waking visions, it lasts generally only a short 
time — an hoiur to an hour and a half — and is ended 
quickly by three sharp raps upon the table, after 
which Mile. Smith returns to her normal state, 
which she scarcely seems to have left. If the som- 
nambulism has been complete, the seance is pro- 
longed to double that length of time, and often longer, 
and the return to the normal state comes slowly 
through phases of deep sleep, alternating with re- 
lapses into somnambuUstic gestures and attitudes, 
moments of catalepsy, etc. The final awakening is 
always preceded by several brief awakenings, fol- 
lowed by relapses into sleep. 

Each of these preliminary awakenings, as well 
as the final one, is accompanied by the same char- 
acteristic movements of the features. The eyes, 
which have been for a long time closed, open wide, 
stupidly staring into vacancy, or fix themselves 
slowly on the objects and the sitters within their 
range of vision, the dilated pupils do not react, the 
face is an impassi/e and rigid mask, devoid of ex- 
pression. H61ene seems altogether absent. All at 
once, with a shght heaving of the breast and raising 
of the head, and a quick breath, a gleam of intelli- 
gence illumines her countenance, the mouth is grace- 



fully opened, the eyes become brilliant, the entire 
countenance lights up with a pleasant smile and gives 
evidence of her recognition of the world and of her 
return to herself. But with the same suddenness 
with which it appeared, that appearance of life lasts 
but a second or two, the physiognomy resumes its 
lifeless mask, the eyes becoming haggard and fixed 
close again, and the head falls on the back of the 
chair. This return of sleep will be followed by an- 
other sudden awaking, then perhaps by several more, 
until the final awaking, always distinguished, af- 
ter the smile at the beginning, by the stereotyped 
question, " What time is it ?" and by a movement of 
surprise on learning that it is so late. There is no 
memory of what has transpired during the seance. 

A complete description of the psychological and 
physiological phenomena which present them- 
selves, or which might be obtained in the course of 
the seances, would detain me too long, since there 
is absolutely nothing constant either in the nature 
or in the succession of the phenomena, and no two 
seances are evolved exactly in the same manner. 
I must confine myself to some striking character- 

Three principal symptoms, almost contemporane- 
ous generally, announce that Mile. Smith is begin- 
ning to enter into her trance. 

There are on the one side emotional or ccenaesthe- 
tic modifications, the cause of which is revealed a 
Uttle later in the subsequent messages. H61bne is, 
for instance, seized by an invincible desire to laugh, 
which she cannot or will not explain ; or she com- 



plains of sadness, fear, of different unpleasant sen- 
sations, of heat or of cold, of nausea, etc., according 
to the nature of the communications which are ap- 
proaching and of which these emotional states are 
the forerunners. 

There are, on the other hand, phenomena of sys- 
tematic anaesthesia (negative hallucinations), limit- 
ed to those sitters whom the coming messages con- 
cern. H61fene ceases to see them, while continuing 
to hear their voices and feel their touch ; or, on the 
contrary, she is astonished to no longer hear them, 
though she sees their lips moving, etc.; or, finally, 
she does not perceive them in any manner, and de- 
mands to know why they are leaving when the se- 
ance is hardly begun. In its details this systematic 
anaesthesia varies infinitely, and extends sometimes 
to but one part of the person concerned, to his hand, 
to a portion of his face, etc., without it always being 
possible to explain these capricious details by the 
content of the following visions ; it would seem that 
the incoherence of the dream presides over this pre- 
liminary work of disintegration, and that the normal 
perceptions are absorbed by the subconscious per- 
sonality eager for material for the building up of the 
hallucinations which it is preparing. 

Systematic anaesthesia is often complicated with 
positive hallucinations, and H^lfene will manifest her 
surprise at seeing, for example, a strange costume 
or an unusual coiffure. This, in reality, is the vi- 
sion which is already being installed. 

The third symptom, which does not manifest itself 
clearly in her, but the presence of which can be often 



established before all the others by investigation, is 
a complete allochiria,* ordinarily accompanied by 
various other sensory and motor disturbances. If, 
at the beginning of the seance, Helene is asked, for 
example, to raise her right hand, to move the left 
index-finger, or to close one eye, she begins straight- 
way to carry into effect these different acts ; then 
all at once, without knowing why and without hesi- 
tation, she deceives herself in regard to the side, and 
raises her left hand, moves her right index-finger, 
closes the other eye, etc. This indicates that she 
is no longer in her normal state, though still appearing 
to retain her ordinary consciousness, and with the 
liveliness of a normal person discusses the question 
of her having mistaken her right hand or eye for 
her left, and vice versa. It is to be noted that Leopold, 
on such occasions of pronounced allochiria, does not 
share this error in regard to the side. I have assisted 
at some curious discussions between him and H^lfene, 
she insisting that such a hand was her right, or that 
the Isle Rousseau is on the left as one passes the 
bridge of Mont Blanc or coming from the railway 
station, and Leopold all the while, by means of raps 
upon the table, giving her clearly to understand 
she was wrong. f 

A little after the allochiria, and sometimes simul- 
taneously with it, are to be found various other phe- 
nomena, extremely variable, of which I here cite only 

* The confusion of sensations in the two sides of the body, as 
when a person locates in the right leg a touch upon the left leg. 

f See, on allochiria, P. Janet, Stigmates mentaux des hysteriques, 
pp. 66—71 ; and Nevroses et id/es fixes, vol. i. p. 234. 


mlle. smith since her initiation 

a few One of her arms is contractured as it rests 
upon the table, and resists the efforts of the sitters 
to lift it up, as though it were a bar of iron ; the 
fingers of the hand also participate in this rigidity. 
Sometimes this contracture does not exist before, 
but establishes itself at the same instant that some 
one touches the forearm, and increases in proportion 
to the efforts which are made to overcome it. There 
is no regularity in the distribution of the anaesthesia 
(changing from one instant to another), the con- 
tractures, or convulsions which the hands and arms 
of Helene exhibit. It all seems due to pure caprice, or 
to depend only on underlying dreams, of which little 
is known. 

Certain analogous and Ukewise capricious phe- 
nomena of anaesthesia, paralysis, sensations of all 
sorts, of which H^Iene complains, often appear in 
her face, her eyes, her mouth, etc. In the midst of 
all these disturbances the visions announce them- 
selves, and the somnambulism is introduced with 
modifications, equally variable, of other functions, 
evidenced by tears, sobbings, sighs, repeated hic- 
coughs, various changing of the rhythm of respira- 
tion, etc. 

If Helfene is experimented upon and questioned too 
long, the development of the original visions is ob- 
structed, and she easily reaches a degree of sensi- 
bility where she falls into the standard class of pub- 
He representations of hypnotism — a charmed and 
fascinated state in which she remains riveted before 
some brilliant object, as, for example, the ring, 
trinkets, or cuff-button of one of the sitters ; then 
E 65 


precipitates herself in a frenzy upon the object, and 
tries to secure it ; or assumes emotional attitudes and 
poses under the influence of joyous airs upon the 
piano ; experiences suggested hallucinations of all 
kinds, sees terrible serpents, which she pursues with 
a pair of pincers ; beautif iil flowers, which she smells 
with deep respirations and distributes to the sitters ; 
or, again, bleeding wounds which have been made 
on her hand, and which cause her to shed tears. 
The common-place character of these phenomena 
causes their long continuance to be deprecated, and 
the ingenuity of all is exercised in endeavoring by 
different means, none of which is very efficacious or 
very rapid, to plunge her into profound and tran- 
quil sleep, from which she is not long in passing of 
her own accord into complete somnambulism and in 
taking up the thread of her personal imaginations. 

If all these disturbing investigations have been 
successfully avoided, the spontaneous development 
of the automatisms is effected with greater rapidity 
and fulness. It is possible then to behold, in the 
same seance, a very varied spectacle, and to Ksten, 
besides, to certain special communications made in 
a semi -waking state to one or other of the sitters; 
then, in complete somnambulism, a Hindoo vision 
is presented, followed by a Martian dream, with an 
incarnation of Leopold in the middle, and a scene of 
Marie Antoinette to wind up with. Ordinarily two 
of these last creations will suffice to fill up a seance. 
One such representation is not performed without the 
loss of considerable strength by the medium, which 
shows itself by the final sleep being prolonged some- 



times for an hour, interrupted, as I have said, by 
repetitions of the preceding somnambulistic scenes, 
easily recognizable by certain gestures or the mur- 
muring of characteristic words. Passing through 
these diverse oscillations and the ephemeral awak- 
ing, of which I have spoken above, H61fene finishes 
by returning to her normal state ; but the seances 
which have been too long continued or too full of 
movement leave her very much fatigued for the rest 
of the day. It has also sometimes happened to her to 
re-enter the somnambulism (from which she had prob- 
ably not completeljr emerged) during the course of 
the evening or on returning home, and only to succeed 
in recovering her perfectly normal state through the 
assistance of a night's sleep. 

As to the real nature of Helene's slumbers at the 
end of the seances, and her states of consciousness 
when she awakes, it is difficult for me to pronounce, 
having only been able to observe them under unfa- 
vorable conditions — -that is, in the presence of sitters 
more or less numerous and restless. The greater 
part certainly consist of somnambulisms, in which 
she hears all that passes around her, since although 
she seems profoundly asleep and absent, the sugges- 
tions then given her to be carried out after awaking 
are registered and performed wonderfully — at least 
when Leopold, who is almost always on hand and an- 
swers by movements of one finger or another to ques- 
tions put to him, does not make any opposition or de- 
clare that the suggestion shall not be carried out! 
There are also brief moments when Hel^ne seems to 
be in a profound state of coma and kind of syncope 



without trace of psychic life ; her pulse and respira- 
tion continue to be regular, but she does not react to 
any excitation, her arms, if raised, fall heavily, no 
sign of Leopold can be obtained, and suggestions 
made at that instant will not be acted upon. 

These lethargic phases, during which all conscious- 
ness seems to be abolished, are generally followed by 
■ cataleptic phases in which the hands and arms pre- 
serve every position in which they may be placed, 
and continue the movements of rotation or of oscilla- 
tion which may be forced upon them, but never for 
more than one or two minutes. 

In default of more complete experiments, I submit 
the following comparison of Hdfene's muscular force 
and of her sensibility to pain before and after a seance 
lasting nearly three hours, the second half being in 
full somnambulism. At 4. 50 o'clock, on sitting down 
at the table three dynamometric tests with her right 
hand gave kilos. 27.5, 27, 25— average, 26.5. The 
sensibility to pain measured on the back of the me- 
dian phalanx of the index-finger with the algesiom- 
eter of Griesbach, gave for the right, grs. 35, 40, 20, 20 
—average, 29 ; for the left, 35, 20, 20, 15— average, 
22.5 grs. (Sensibility slightly more delicate than that 
of another lady present at the seance, not a medium 
and in perfect health.) 

At 7.45 o'clock, some minutes after the final awak- 
ing : dynamometer, right hand, 8, 4.5, 4.5— aver- 
age, 5.7; algesiometer, complete analgesia both as 
to right and left, on the whole of the back of the 
index as well as the rest of the hand and wrist, the 
maximum of the instrument (100 grs.) was attained 



and passed without arousing any painful sensation 
but only an impression of contact. 

One hour later, after dinner : dynamometer 22, 22, 
19 — average, 21 ; algesiometer, 20, 18 for the right : 
15, 20 for the left. It is possible, then, to say that 
her muscular force and sensibility to pain, both 
normal immediately before her entrance upon the 
seance, are still abolished in the first fifteen min- 
utes after awaking, but are found to be restored in 
about an hour. Perception of colors, on the contrary, 
appeared to be as perfect immediately after awaking 
as before the seance. The tremor of the index-finger, 
normal before the seance, is very much exaggerated 
in its amplitude for a certain time after awaking 
and reflects sometimes the respiratory movements, 
as can be seen by the curves of Fig. 2. This denotes 
a great diminution of kinesthetic sensibility and of 
voluntary control over the immobility of the hand. 

The state in which Mile. Smith carries out the 
post-hypnotic suggestions made to her in the course 
of her somnambuUsms, when they do not come into 
collision with either the pronounced opposition of 
Leopold or the states of lethargy of which I have 
spoken, is interesting on account of its varied char- 
acter, which seems to depend upon the greater or less 
ease with which the hallucination or the act sug- 
gested can be reconciled with Hel^ne's normal per- 
sonality. Their execution in the full waking state 
seems to be confined to suggestions of simple acts, 
free from absurdity,the idea of which would be easily 
accepted and carried out by the normal self when the 
desired moment arrived. If, on the contrary, it is a 



question of more complicated and difficult things, 
compatible, however, with the rational points of view 
of the normal waking state, H^lfene falls momentar- 
ily into somnambulism for the execution of the order 
given, unless she has permanently remained in that 
state, in spite of her apparent awaking, in order not 


Fig. 2. Tremor of right index-finger. A, B, C, fragments of curves taken in the 
normal state before the seance (A and C with closed eyes ; B, with open eyes look- 
ing at the Index-finger) ; D, E, F, fragments of curves received in succession a 
quarter of an hour after the seance. The curve F reflects the respiratory oscilla- 
tions. The curves go from right to left, and theinterval between the two vertical 
lines is ten seconds. 



to re-enter definitely and completely upon her ordinary 
state until after the execution of the order, of which 
there then remains to her no recollection whatever. 

From the foregoing facts we may conclude that 
Little or nothing of that which goes on around her 
escapes her subconscious intelligence, and it is from 
this source that her somnambulistic romances are 
nourished afresh. 

A word more as to the preparation for the seances. 
I do not refer to a conscious preparation, but to a 
subHminal incubation or elaboration, unknown by 
her, showing itself on the level of her ordinary per- 
sonality in the form of fugitive gleams and frag- 
mentary images during her sleep at night or the 
moments of awaking in the morning. Mile. Smith, 
in reality, has no hold, possesses no influence, upon 
the nature of her visions and somnambuHsms. She 
is able, undoubtedly, up to a certain point, to aid 
their appearance in a general way, by cultivating 
tranquillity of mind, securing darkness and silence 
in the room, and by abandoning herself to a passive 
attitude of mind; or to hinder it, on the other hand, 
by movement, or distraction of attention; but with 
the fixed and concrete content itself of her auto- 
matisms she has nothing to do and no share in the 
responsibility for it. So far as her great cycles or 
her detached messages are concerned, they are fab- 
ricated in her in spite of herself, and without her 
having a word to say about their production, any 
more than one has in the formation of his dreams. 
When it is recollected, on the other hand, that the 
phenomena of incubation, of subliminal preparation, 



or unconscious cerebration, are universal facts, play- 
ing their role in the psychology of every human be- 
ing, we can rely upon finding them also among the 
mediums, and upon their holding a place with them 
much more important than with others, owing to the 
fact that their subconscious life is so much more 
fully developed. 

With each one of us the expectation or the simple 
perspective of any event — a departure, a visit, an 
errand, or undertaking to do anything, a letter to 
write, in short, all the more insignificant incidents 
of daily existence, when they are not absolutely 
unforeseen — promote a psychological adaptation 
more or less extended and profound. 

Alongside of and underneath the conscious ex- 
pectancy, certain physical or mental attitudes, vol- 
untarily assumed in view of the event, always effect 
an underlying preparation of an inward kind, a 
change which we may regard, according to the side 
from which we consider the individual, as a peculiar 
psychical orientation or cerebral adjustment, a modi- 
fication in the association of ideas or in the dynamics 
of the cortical nerves. But everything points to the 
fact that in persons gifted with mediumship this un- 
derlying preparation is capable of assuming on occa- 
sion a greater importance than is the case with ordi- 
nary mortals, a much more complete independence 
of the ordinary consciousness 

To return to Mile. Smith, when she knows some 
time in advance who will be present at her next 
seance, and what people she will almost surely meet 
there, it would be altogether natural that such pre- 



vious knowledge of the environment and of the sit- 
ters would influence her subliminal thoughts and in 
some degree direct the course of the latent incuba- 
tion. It may well be asked, therefore, whether the 
varied spectacle which the seances furnish is really 
always impromptu and has its birth on the spur of 
the moment like ordinary dreams, or whether it has 
been subconsciously thought out, the seance being 
only the performance of an arrested programme, the 
representation coram populo of scenes already ri- 
pened in the deep subliminal strata of the medium. 

Neither of these two hypotheses, held to exclude 
the other, answers to the facts, but there is some 
truth in both of them. 

The menu of the seances — if the expression is per- 
missible—is always composed of one or two plats de 
resistance, carefully prepared in advance in the sub- 
Hminal laboratories, and of various hors d'ceuvres 
left to the inspiration of the moment. To speak 
more exactly, the general plot, the chief Lines and 
more striking points of the scenes which unfold them- 
selves are fixed according to a previous arrange- 
ment, but the details of execution and accessory 
embellishments are entirely dependent upon chance 
circumstances. The proof of this is found, on the 
one hand, in the suppleness, the perfect ease, the ap- 
propriateness with which Helene's automatisms — if 
we can still apply the word automatism to those cases 
in which spontaneity, self-possession, free use of all 
the faculties constitute the dominant characteristics 
— often adapt themselves to unexpected situations 
in the environment or capricious interruptions on 



the part of the sitters; on the other hand, in the 
fact that Leopold, interrogated at the beginning of 
the seance, ordinarily knows very well and announ- 
ces the principal vision or incarnations which are 
about to make their appearance, provided, at least, 
the spectators do not hinder their unfolding by their 
tempestuous clamor for something else. 

The animated conversations, sometimes full of spir- 
ited repartee, between Leopold or Marie Antoinette 
and the sitters, could not have been prepared in ad- 
vance, and are altogether opposed to the stereotyped 
repetition which is generally expected of automatic 
phenomena. But, on the other hand, such repetition, 
almost entirely mechanical and devoid of sense, pre- 
sents itself on frequent occasions. I have, for in- 
stance, seen somnambulistic scenes presented which 
were entirely misplaced, and constituted at the time 
veritable anachronisms, which would have perfectly 
fitted the situation eight days previously in another 
environment, and for which the aforesaid scenes had 
been evidently intended; but, having been withheld 
until the last moment by unforeseen circumstances, 
the following seance gets the benefit of these post- 
poned messages. 

Here is proof that Helfene's subliminal imagination 
prepares up to a certain point her principal produc- 
tions, in view of the conditions and surroundings un- 
der which the seance will probably take place, and also 
that these products, once elaborated, must be elim- 
inated and poured forth with a sort of blind necessity, 
at the right or the wrong time, whenever the entrance 
of H^lfene into a favorable hypnoid state furnishes 



them an opportunity so to do. It follows also that 
her normal personahty has nothing whatever to do 
with the preparation of the seances, since she can 
neither suppress nor change scenes badly adapted 
to the actual environment, the appearance of which 
sometimes greatly annoys Mile. Smith when they are 
recounted to her after the seance ; nor can she provoke 
the messages, the production of which she desires 
and vainly hopes for — as, for example, a medical con- 
sultation with Leopold, the incarnation of a deceased 
parent, or a scene from one cycle rather than from tl^e 
others, for the benefit of a sitter who particularly de- 
sires it, and whom she is very desirous to please. 

Much more could be said concerning the psycho- 
logical side of the seances of Mile. Smith, but I must 
limit myself. It will be possible to gain a more com- 
plete idea of this subject by studying the illustrations, 
in the following chapters on the chief cycles of her 
brilliant subliminal fantasy. 



IS Leopold really Joseph Balsamo, as he pretends ? 
Or, since he has nothing in common with the 
famous thaumaturgist of the last century, save 
a certain superficial resemblance, is he, at any rate, 
a real being, separate from, and independent of. Mile. 
Smith ? Or, finally, is he only a pseudo-reality, a 
kind of allotropic modification of H61fene herself, a 
product of her subliminal imagination, just like our 
dream creations and the roles suggested to a hypnotic 
subject ? 

Of these three suppositions it is the last which to 
my mind is undoubtedly the true one, while in Mile. 
Smith's eyes it is as certainly the false view. It 
would be hard to imagine a more profound differ- 
ence of opinion than that which exists between Mile. 
Smith and myself on this subject. It is I, always, 
who get the worst of a discussion with her concern- 
ing it. I yield for two reasons. First, out of polite- 
ness ; and, secondly, because I understand H^lbne per- 
fectly, and, putting myself in her place, realize that 
I should think exactly as she does about the matter. 

Given her surroundings and personal experiences, 
it is impossible for her to do otherwise than believe 



in the objective distinct existence of that mysterious 
being who constantly enters into her life in a sensible 
andquasi-material way, leaving her no room to doubt. 
He presents himself before her endowed with corpo- 
reality like that of other people, and hides objects 
which are behind him exactly as an ordinary indi- 
vidual of flesh and bone would do He talks into 
her ears, generally into the left, in a characteristic 
voice, which appears to come from a variable dis- 
tance, sometimes about six feet off, sometimes much 
farther. He jars the table on which she has placed 
her immobile arms, takes hold of her wrist and writes 
with her hand, holding the pen in a marmer unlike 
her, and with a handwriting wholly different from 
hers. He puts her to sleep without her knowledge, 
and she is astonished to learn upon awaking that 
he has gesticulated with her arms and spoken through 
her mouth in the deep bass voice of a man, with an 
Italian accent, which has nothing in common with 
the clear and beautiful quality of her feminine voice. 
Moreover, he is not always on hand. He by no 
means answers Heifene's appeals on all occasions ; is 
not at her mercy ; far from it. His conduct, his mani- 
festations, his comings and goings cannot be predict- 
ed with any certainty, and testify to an autonomous 
being, endowed with free-will, often otherwise occu- 
pied or absent on his own affairs, which do not permit 
of his holding himself constantly at the disposal of 
Mile. Smith. Sometimes he remains for weeks with- 
out revealing himself, in spite of her wishing for him 
and calling upon him. Then, all at once, he makes 
his appearance when she least expects him. He 



speaks for her in a way she would have no idea of 
doing, he dictates to her poems of which she would be 
incapable. He replies to her oral or mental questions, 
converses with her, and discusses various questions. 
Like a wise friend, a rational mentor, and as one 
seeing things from a higher plane, he gives her ad- 
vice, counsel, orders even sometimes directly oppo- 
site to her wishes and against which she rebels. 
He consoles her, exhorts her, soothes, encourages, 
and reprimands her ; he undertakes against her the 
defence of persons she does not Hke, and pleads the 
cause of those who are antipathetic to her. In a 
word, it would be impossible to imagine a being more 
independent or more different from Mile. Smith her- 
self, having a more personal character, an individual- 
ity more marked, or a more certain actual existence. 
H61fene is also fortified in this conviction by the 
belief not only of members of her own family, but by 
that of other cultivated people who, having attended 
many of her seances, have no doubt whatever of Leo- 
pold's objective and separate existence. There are 
those who believe so firmly in the reality of this supe- 
rior being, invisible to them, that they are in the habit 
of calling upon him during the absence of Mile. Smith. 
Naturally they obtain responses, through the table or 
otherwise, and that causes unforeseen complications 
sometimes when she comes to learn of it. For while 
she admits theoretically — and Leopold himself has 
often declared the same thing — that he extends his 
surveillance and protection from afar over other 
spiritistic groups, and especially over all Helbne's 
friends and acquaintances, in practice and in fact, 



however, it happens that neither he nor she will will- 
ingly admit the authenticity of those pretended com- 
munications from Leopold obtained in the absence of 
the medium of his predilection. It is generally some 
deceiving spirit who has manifested in his place 
on these occasions. These denials, however, do not 
prevent those who have become behevers from con- 
tinuing to believe in the omnipresence of this good 
genius, or from teaching their children to revere him, 
to make vows and address prayers to him. It must 
not be forgotten that spiritism is a religion. This 
also explains the great respect shown to mediums, 
which is like that accorded to priests. 

It follows that, without in the least refraining from 
speaking ill of them whenever they think they have 
a grievance against them, on the other hand they 
bestow on them the same marks of respect as are only 
accorded to the most sublime product of the human 

I have known a salon where, on the centre table, in 
full view and in the place of honor, were two photo- 
graphs in beautiful frames : on the one side the head 
of Christ, on the other the portrait of — Mile. H61ene 
Smith. Among other believers, with less ideal but 
more practical aspirations, no business matter of im- 
portance is closed, no serious decision made, until 
Leopold has been consulted through H61fene as an 
intermediary, and the cases are too numerous to 
mention in which he has furnished important in- 
formation, prevented a heavy precuniary loss, given 
an efficacious medical prescription, etc. 

It is easily seen how all the successes obtained by 



Leopold, and the mystical veneration which many 
very estimable persons accord him, must contribute 
to strengthen the faith of H61fene in her all-powerful 
protector. It is in vain that, against this absolute 
assurance, one seeks to avail one's self of the argu- 
ments of contemporary psychology. The example 
of the fictions of the dream, the analogies taken from 
hypnotism and from psychopathology, considera- 
tions of mental disintegration, the division of the 
consciousness and the formation of second person- 
alities, all these refined subtleties of our modern sci- 
entists break in pieces like glass against immovable 
rock. I shall not undertake to combat a proposi- 
tion which, for her, has incontestably so much evi- 
dence in its favor, and which resolves all difficulties 
in the most felicitous manner and in conformity to 
good common-sense. 

Nevertheless, since each individual has a right to 
his own opinion in the world, I beg leave to assume, 
for the time being, that Leopold does not exist outside 
of Mile. Smith, and to try to discover his possible 
genesis in the mental life of the latter — solely by hy- 
pothesis and by means of psychological experiment. 
Therefore, readers who have Uttle taste for this kind 
of academic composition had better skip this chapter. 


A description of the development of Leopold is not 
easy, since he has a double origin, apparent and 
real, like the cranial nerves which give so much 
trouble to the students of anatomy. 



His apparent origin, or, I should say, the moment 
when he is outwardly separated from the personality 
of Helfene, and manifests as an independent "spirit," 
is relatively clear and well marked; but his actual 
origin, profoundly enfolded in the most inward strata 
of H^lfene's personality and inextricably mixed up 
with them, presents great obscurities and can only 
be determined in a very conjectural manner. Let 
us begin with the apparent origin, or the first appear- 
ance of Leopold at the seances. 

It is easy to understand that, once initiated into 
spiritism and plunged into a current of ideas where 
the comforting doctrine of spirit-guides and protect- 
ors holds an important place. Mile. Smith did not 
delay in coming into possession of, like all good me- 
diums, a disincarnate spirit specially attached to 
her person. She even had two in succession, Victor 
Hugo and Cagliostro. It is not a question of a sim- 
ple change of name of the guide of H61fene, who pre- 
sented himself first under the aspect and the name 
of the great poet and then afterwards adopted that 
of the renowned thaumaturgist, but there were, at 
least at the beginning, two different personalities, 
apparently hostile to each other, one of whom by 
degrees supplanted the other, after a struggle, a 
trace of which is found in the very incomplete re- 
ports of the seances of that period. Three phases 
can also be distinguished in the psychogenesis of 
Mile. Smith's guide : an initial phase of five months, 
during which Victor Hugo reigns alone ; a phase of 
transition of about a year, when the protection of 
Victor Hugo is seen to be powerless to protect H6- 
F 8i 


Ifene and her spiritistic group against the invasion 
of an intruder called Leopold, who claims and mani- 
fests an increasing authority over the medium by 
virtue of mysterious relations in the course of a pre- 
vious existence ; finally, the present period, which 
has lasted for six years past, in which Victor Hugo 
no longer figures, and which may be dated approx- 
imately from the moment when it was revealed that 
Leopold is only an assumed name, under which he 
hides in reality the great personality of Joseph Bal- 

I do not find any fact worthy of mention in the 
first phase, in which Victor Hugo, who seems to have 
appeared as the guide of Mile. Smith about the ist 
of April, 1892 (see above, p. 38), played a role of no 
importance. In the second phase, however, it is 
necessary to cite some extracts from the reports of 
the seances of the N. group, in order to throw light 
upon the singular character which Leopold mani- 
fested there from the beginning. 

August 26, 1892.— "A spirit announces himself 
under the name of Leopold. He comes for Mile. 
Smith, and seems to wish to have a great authority 
over her. She sees him for some moments, he ap- 
pears to be about thirty-five years of age, and is 
clothed altogether in black. The expression of his 
countenance is rather pleasing, and through an- 
swers to some questions which we put to him we 
are given to understand that he knew her in an- 
other existence, and that he does not wish her to 
give her heart to any one here below. . . Mile. Smith 
recognizes her guide, Victor Hugo. She is made 



happy by his arrival, and asks his protection 
against the obsession of this new spirit. He an- 
swers that she has nothing to fear, that he will 
always be present. She is joyful at being guarded 
and protected by him, and feels that she has noth- 
ing to fear." 

September 2.— . . . "Leopold comes also, but Mile. 
Smith fears nothing, since her guide (Victor Hugo) 
is there to protect her." 

September 23. — . . "An unpleasant evening. 
A spirit announces himself. It is Leopold. He 
speaks to us at once : ' I am here. I wish to be 
master of this sitting.' We are very much disap- 
pointed, and do not expect any good of him. He 
tries, as he had already done once before, to put 
Mile. Smith to sleep, who has great difficulty in strug- 
gling against this sleep. She rises from the table, 
hoping by this means to rid herself of him, and that 
he will give up his place to others. She returns in 
about ten minutes, but he is still there, and appar- 
ently has no intention of abandoning his place. We 
summon our friends (spiritual) to our aid. . . They 
take Leopold's place momentarily, but very soon Leo- 
pold returns ; we struggle with him, we desire him to 
go away, but neither soft nor hard words have any 
effect; before that dogged determination we realize 
that all our efforts will be useless, and we decide to 
close the seance." 

October 3. — " [Manifestation by the favorite spir- 
its of the group, who declare] that they have not 
been able to come, as they would have liked to do ; 
that they were prevented by the spirit of Leopold, 



who is trying to introduce himself to us; that we 
should repulse him as much as possible, persuaded 
that he does not come for any good end. I do not 
know whether we shall be able to rid ourselves of 
him, but we greatly fear that he will injure us and 
retard our advancement." 

October 7. — . . " Leopold announces himself. 
We try to reason with him ; we do not wish to forbid 
his coming, but we ask of him that he shall come as 
a friend to all, and not in the role of master. He is 
not satisfied ; appears to bear much malice. We 
trust he will come to have better feelings. He 
shows himself, walks around the table, bows to us, 
and salutes each one with his hand, and retires again, 
leaving his place to others." 

October 14. — " [After a quarter of an hour of mo- 
tionless and silent waiting in darkness around the 
table Mile. Smith is questioned, and she is shaken 
in vain.] She is asleep. By the advice of persons 
present we allow her to remain asleep, when, at the 
end of five minutes, the table raises itself, a spirit 
announces himself. It is Victor Hugo ; we ask if he 
has anything to say ; he answers yes, and spells 
out : Wake her ; do not allow her ever to sleep. We 
try to do so. We are nervous about that sleep ; we 
have great difficulty in awakening her." 

January 6, 1893. — " After twenty minutes of wait- 
ing, Leopold arrives, and, as is his habit, puts the 
medium to sleep for some minutes ; he torments us, 
and prevents our friends (disincarnate) from coming 
to the table. He vexes us in every way, and goes 
contrary to all our wishes. In presence of that ran- 



cor the sitters regret the indications of ill -humor 
they have shown towards him, and deplore having 
to pay so dear for them. It is with difficulty that 
the medium can be awakened." 

February, 1893.—" In one of the seances of this 
month a remarkable thing happened : the spirit of 
Leopold, who was very much irritated on that day, 
twice in succession took away her chair from our 
medium, and carried it to the farther end of the room, 
while Mile. Smith fell heavily to the floor. Not ex- 
pecting this wretched farce. Mile. Smith struck her 
knee so hard that for several days she suffered pain 
in walking. We were obliged to terminate the 
seance ; we were not comfortable. Why this ani- 
mosity ?" 

This word animosity describes very well the con- 
duct and the feelings that Leopold seemed to have 
towards the N. group and against his placid rival, 
Victor Hugo. The personal recollections of the sit- 
ters whom I have been able to interrogate confirm the 
substantial physiognomy of the two figures. That of 
Hugo is, in effect, effaced and altogether eclipsed by 
the totally opposite character of the arrogant Leopold, 
who takes a peculiar pleasure in the role of vindictive 
and jealous mischief-maker, obstructing the appear- 
ance of the " spirits" desired by the group, putting 
the medium to sleep, or causing her to fall on the 
floor, forbidding her to give her heart to another, and 
breaking up the seances as far as he is able. It seems 
to have finally resulted in the meetings of the N. group 
coming to an end at the beginning of the summer ; 
then comes a break of six months, after which I find 



Mile. Smith on the I2th of December inaugurating 
a new series of seances, with an entirely different 
spiritistic group organized by Prof. Cuendet. Here 
Victor Hugo very rarely appears, and never in the 
role of guide, which role is freely accorded, without 
objection, to Leopold, whose real identity (Cagliostro) 
was no secret to any one in the new environment. 
It was, therefore, in the course of the year 1893, at a 
period which cannot be precisely determined from the 
records, that the rivalry of these two personalities 
was terminated by the complete triumph of the sec- 

It follows from the preceding recital that the ap- 
pearance of Leopold in seances of the N. group was 
a phenomenon of manifest contrast, of hostility, and 
of antagonism towards that group. 

It is a difficult and delicate task to pronounce upon 
the complex spirit of an environment of which one 
was not a part, and in regard to which one possesses 
only a few and not very concordant incidents. The 
following, however, seem to be the facts : 

The N. group, much more numerous than is con- 
venient in seances of that kind, was composed of very 
varied elements. Alongside of serious believers were 
ordinarily some students who boarded with one of 
the ladies of the group, and who do not appear to 
have felt the seriousness of spiritistic reunions. 

That age has no mercy, and the profound signi- 
fication of the seances often escaped their superficial 
and frivolous intelligence. Under such conditions 
Mile. Smith was inevitably compelled to experience 
two contrary impressions. On the one hand, she per- 



ceived herself admired, made much of, feted, as the 
unrivalled medium,, which she really was, and upon 
whom the group depended for its existence ; on the 
other hand, her secret instincts and high personal 
dignity could not but be offended by the familiarities 
to which she was exposed in this mixed environment. 

I regard the two rival and successive guides of 
Helena as the expression of this double sentiment. 
If she had been broLight up like an American woman, 
or if her nature had been a degree less fine, the frivol- 
ity of the seances would undoubtedly have only given 
more warmth and brilhancy to Victor Hugo ; instead 
of which, the victorious colors of Leopold are raised 
over a nature of great native pride, extremely sensi- 
tive on the point of feminine dignity, and whose se- 
vere and rigid education had already exalted her 
sense of self-respect. After a struggle of a year be- 
tween these two personifications of opposite emotional 
tendencies, the second, as we have seen, finally tri- 
umphs ; and Mile. Smith withdraws from the N. 
group, which at the same time breaks up. 

The idea I have formed of Leopold is now appar- 
ent. He represents, to my mind, in Mile. Smith, the 
synthesis, the quintessence — and the expansion, too — 
of the most hidden springs of the psychological organ- 
ism. He gushes forth from that deep and myste- 
rious sphere into which the deepest roots of our indi- 
vidual existence are plunged, which bind us to the 
species itself, and perhaps to the Absolute, and whence 
confusedly spring our instincts of physical and moral 
self-preservation, our sexual feelings. When Hel^ne 
found herself in an environment not exactly dan- 



gerous, but where she simply ran the risk, as in the 
N. group, of yielding to some inclination contrary to 
her fundamental aspirations, it is then that Leopold 
suddenly springs up, speaking as the master, taking 
possession of the medium for himself, and indicating 
his unwillingness that she should attach herself to 
any one here below. We here recognize the same 
principle of self - protection and self-preservation 
which was already active in her as a young girl in 
the teleological automatisms arising on the occasion 
of certain emotional shocks, of which I have spoken 
on p. 25. 

But, by these considerations, we have travelled 
very far from the original appearance of Leopold in 
the seance of the 26th of August, 1892, towards his 
actual, more ancient origin. This seems to date from 
a great fright which Hel^ne had in the course of her 
tenth year. As she was walking along the street, on 
her way home from school, she was attacked by a big 
dog. The terror of the poor child can well be im- 
agined, and from which she was happily delivered by 
a personage clothed in a long brown robe with flow- 
ing sleeves and with a white cross on the breast, who, 
appearing to her suddenly and as by a miracle, 
chased the dog away, and disappeared before she 
had time to thank him. But, according to Leopold, 
this personage was no other than himself, who on 
this occasion for the first time appeared to H61^ne, 
and saved her by driving away the dog. 

This explanation was given by Leopold on the 6th 
of October, 1895, in a seance in which H61&ne expe- 
rienced, in a somnambulistic state, a repetition of 


that scene of fright, with heart - rending cries, gest- 
ures of struggle and defence, attempts at flight, etc. 
In the waking state she very well recalls this epi- 
sode of her childhood, but cannot accept Leopold as 
the person who came to her rescue, but believes it 
to have been a priest or member of some religious 
order who rushed to her assistance and drove the 
animal away. Her parents also recollected the in- 
cident, whicfi she told them one day on returning 
from school in a very excited state, and after which 
she could not for a long time encounter a dog in the 
street without hiding herself in the folds of her 
mother's dress. She has since always preserved an 
instinctive aversion towards dogs. 

We have seen (p. 31) that after this first incident, 
matters remained in statu quo for four years, up to 
the time when the age of puberty began to favor the 
development of the Oriental visions. Here, Leopold, 
to whom we owe this information, does not altogether 
agree with himself, for at one time he says that it was 
he himself who furnished Mile. Smith with her visions 
of India, at another time he says that they are rem- 
iniscences of one of her former existences. 

Alongside of these varied visions, Leopold has 
clearly appeared under the form of the protector in the 
dark robe in a number of cases. I will only cite two 
examples, one very remote, the other quite recent. 

One day Hel^ne went to consult her family physi- 
cian for some trifling ailment, who, having known 
her for a long time and being an old friend of her 
family, presumed to give her an innocent kiss. He 
was quite unprepared for the explosion of wrath 



which this famiHarity provoked, and hastened to 
make his apologies : but what is of interest to us in 
this connection is the fact that under the shock of 
this emotion her defender of the brown robe appeared 
before her in the corner of the room, and did not leave 
her side until she had reached home. 

A short time ago this same protector, always in 
the same costume, accompanied her several days in 
succession while she was traversing a little-frequented 
part of the route towards her place of business. One 
evening, also, he appeared to her at the entrance to 
the street leading to the locality in question, in the 
attitude of barring the way, and obliged her to make 
a detour to regain her house. 

Mile. Smith has the impression — and several indi- 
cations go to show that she is not deceived — that it is 
with the purpose of sparing her some unpleasant sight 
or a dangerous encounter that Leopold, in the brown 
robe, appears to her under perfectly well-known condi- 
tions. He rises before her always at a distance of 
about ten yards, walks, or rather glides, along in si- 
lence, at the same rate as she advances towards him, 
attracting and fascinating her gaze in such a manner 
as to prevent her turning her eyes away from him either 
to the right or the left, until she has passed the place 
of danger. It is to be noted that whereas Leopold, 
under other circumstances — for instance, at the se- 
ances — shows himself to her in the most varied cos- 
tumes and speaks on all subjects, it is always under 
his hieratic aspect, silent, and clothed in his long dark 
robe, that he appears to her on those occasions of real 
life in which she is exposed to feelings of fright pe- 



culiar to her sex, as he appeared to her on that first 
occasion in her tenth year. 

The hints I have given sufiicientiy justify, I think, 
my opinion that the real and primordial origin of 
Leopold is to be found in that deep and delicate 
sphere in which we so often encounter the roots of 
hypnoid phenomena, and to which the most illustri- 
ous visionaries, such as Swedenborg,* seem to owe 
a great part not only of the intellectual content but 
of the imaginative form, the hallucinatory wrapping, 
of their genius. There is a double problem to be 
solved in Mile. Smith's case. Why have these in- 
stinctive feelings and emotional tendencies which 
are common to the entire human race succeeded in 
developing in her a product so complex and highly 
organized as is the personality of Leopold ? and why, 
in the second place, does that personality believe 
itself to be Joseph Balsamo? 

I instantly reply that these two results are, to my 
mind, entirely the effect of autosuggestion. To 
explain the first, the simple fact of her being occu- 
pied with spiritism and engaged in mediumistic ex- 
periments, is sufficient. Take any individual hav- 
ing in her subconsciousness memories, scruples, 
emotional tendencies, put into her head spiritistic 
leanings, then seat her at a table, or put a pencil 
in her hand : even though she may not be of a very 
impressionable or suggestible temperament, or in- 
clined to the mental disintegration which the general 

* See Lehmann's Auberglaube und Zauberei, p. 217 et seq. Stutt- 
gart, 1898. 



public calls the mediumistic faculty, nevertheless, 
it will not be long before her subliminal elements 
group themselves and arrange themselves accord- 
ing to the "personal" form to which all conscious- 
ness tends,* and which discloses itself outwardly 
by communications which have the appearance of 
coming directly from disincarnate spirits. 

In the case of Mile. Smith, Leopold did not exist 
under the title of a distinct secondary personality 
before H^l^ne began to be occupied with spiritism. 
It was at the seances of the N. group, by an emotion- 
al reaction against certain influences, as we have 
seen, that he began, little by little, to take shape, 
aided by memories of the same general tone, until 
he finally grew into an apparently independent be- 
ing, revealing himself through the table, manifest- 
ing a will and a mind of his own, recalling analo- 
gous former incidents of H^l^ne's life, and claiming 
for himself the merit of having intervened in it in the 
role of her protector. 

Once established, this secondary self could not 
do otherwise than to grow, and to develop and 
strengthen itself in all directions, assimilating to 
itself a host of new data favoring the state of sug- 
gestibility which accompanies the exercise of medi- 
umship. Without the spiritism and the autohyp- 
notization of the seances, Leopold could never have 
been truly developed into a personality, but would 
have continued to remain in the nebulous, inco- 

* W. James, "Thought Tends to Personal Form." Principles 
of Psychology, vol. i. p. 225 et seq. New York, iSgo. 



herent state of vague subliminal reveries and of 
occasional automatic phenomena. 

The second problem, that of explaining why this 
secondary personality, once established, believes 
itself to be Cagliostro rather than any other cele- 
brated personage, or of remaining simply the anony- 
mous guardian angel of Mile. Smith, would demand 
a very complete knowledge of the thousand outside 
influences which have surrounded Hel^ne since the 
beginning of her mediumship, and which may have 
involuntarily influenced her. 

But on this point I have only succeeded in collecting 
a very few incidents, which leave much still to be de- 
sired, and are of such a character that it is entirely 
permissible for any one to claim that the purely psy- 
chological origin of that personality is not clearly 
established, and to prefer, if he chooses, the actual 
intervention of the disincarnate Joseph Balsamo 
to my hypothesis of autosuggestion. 

The following, however, are the facts advanced 
by me in support of the latter: 

The authoritative and jealous spirit, the evident 
enemy of the N. group, who manifested himself on 
the 26th of August, 1892, under the name of Leo- 
pold, did not reveal his identity as that of Cagliostro 
until some time afterwards, under the following cir- 
cumstances : 

One of the most regular attendants at the re- 
unions of the N. group was a Mme. B., who had long 
been an adherent of spiritism, and who had pre- 
viously attended numerous seances at the house of 
M. and Mme. Badel, a thoroughly convinced couple 



of amateurs, now deceased, whose salon and round 
table have held a very honorable place in the history 
of Genevese occultism. But I learned from Mme. B. 
that one of the disincarnate spirits who manifested 
himself oftenest at the seances of M. and Mme. Badel 
was this very Joseph Balsamo. There is, indeed, 
no figure in history which accords better with the 
idea of a posthumous return to the mysteries of the 
round table than that of the enigmatic Sicilian, 
especially since Alexandre Dumas, pere, has sur- 
rounded him with an additional halo of romance. 

Not content with the public reunions of the N. 
group, Mme. B. often invited H61^ne to her house foi 
private seances, of which no record was made. At 
one of these, Hel&ne having had a vision of Leopold, 
who pointed out to her with a wand a decanter, Mme. 
B. suddenly thought of a celebrated episode in the life 
of Cagliostro, and after the seance she proceeded to 
take from a drawer and show to H61ene an engraving 
taken from an illustrated edition of Dumas, repre- 
senting the famous scene of the decanter between Bal- 
samo and the Dauphin at the chateau of Taverney. 
At the same time she gave utterance to the idea that 
the spirit who manifested himself at the table by means 
of H61^ne's hands was certainly Joseph Balsamo ; 
and she expressed her astonishment that H61^ne had 
given him the name of Leopold, to which Helene re- 
plied that it was he himself who had given that name. 
Mme. B., continuing her deductions, told Mile. Smith 
that perhaps she had formerly been the medium of the 
great magician, and consequently had been Lorenza 
Feliciani in a former life. H^^fene at once accepted the 



idea, and for several weeks considered herself to be the 
reincarnation of Lorenza, until one day a lady of her 
acquaintance remarked that it was impossible, Loren- 
za Feliciani having never existed save in the imagina- 
tion and the romances of Alexandre Dumas, pere* 

Thus dispossessed of her supposed former existence, 
H61^ne was not long in declaring through the table 
that she was Marie Antoinette. As to Leopold, a 
short time after Mme. B. had hypothetically identified 
him with Cagliostro, he himself confirmed that hy- 
pothesis at a seance of the N. group, dictating to the 
table that his real name was Joseph Balsamo. 

The origin of the name of Leopold is very obscure, 
and many hypotheses have been advanced to ac- 
count for it without our being able to establish any 
of them with certainty. 

One fact, however, is certain, namely, that save for 
the vague affirmation that he had known Hel^ne in 
a previous existence, Leopold had never pretended to 
be Caghostro, or given any reason for being thought 
so, before the reunion where Mme. B., who had been 
for some time accustomed to manifestations of that 
personage, announced the supposition and showed 
Mile. Smith immediately after the seance (at a mo- 
ment when she was probably still in a very suggest- 
ible state) an engraving from Dumas' works repre- 
senting Balsamo and the Dauphin. From that day 
Leopold, on his part, never failed to claim that per- 
sonality, and progressively to realize the character of 
the role in a very remarkable manner, as we shall see. 

* Alexandre Dumas, fire. Memoirs of a Physician, chap. xv. 



II. Personification of Balsamo by 

There is no need, I think, to remind the reader of 
the well-known fact — so often described under the 
names of objectivity of types, personification, change 
of personality, etc. — that a hypnotized subject can be 
transformed by a word into such other living being 
as may be desired, according to the measure in 
which his suggestibility on the one hand and the 
vividness of his imagination and the fulness of his 
stored-up knowledge or memories on the other, en- 
ables him to fulfil the role which is imposed upon 
him. Without investigating here to what extent 
mediums may be likened to hypnotized subjects, it 
is undeniable that an analogous phenomenon takes 
place in them ; but the process is more gradual, and 
may extend itself over several years. In place of 
the immediate metamorphosis which modifies at one 
stroke and instantly, conformably to a prescribed 
type, the attitude, the physiognomy, the gestures, the 
words, the intonations of voice, the style, the hand- 
writing, and other functions besides, we are, in the 
case of the medium, in the presence of a develop- 
ment formed by successive stages arranged accord- 
ing to grades, with intervals of different lengths, 
which finally succeed in creating a complete person- 
ality, all the more astonishing, at first sight, be- 
cause the involuntary suggestions have not been 
noticed, the accumulations of which have little by 
little caused its birth. This process of development 



is present in a high degree in the case of Mile. 
Smith, in the elaboration of her secondary person- 
ality, Leopold-Cagliostro. 

In the beginning, in 1892 and 1893, this "spirit" 
only manifested himself by the brief periods of sleep 
which he induced in Helene at certain seances, by 
raps struck upon the table, by visions in which he 
showed himself clothed in black and of youthful 
appearance, and, more rarely, by auditive hallu- 
cinations. His character and the content of his mes- 
sages were summed up in imperious, authoritative, 
domineering manners, with the pretension of claim- 
ing Mile. Smith all for himself, of defending her 
against the influences of the N. group, and, finally, 
of detaching her from that environment. 

There was nothing, however, in this general char- 
acter of monopoly and of protection which specially 
recalled the Balsamo of history or of romance. The 
personification of complete objectivity of this estab- 
lished type really began only in 1894, when Leopold 
had no longer to struggle with an environment for- 
eign to his nature. The subconscious psychological 
task of realization of the proposed model could then 
be followed by him more freely ; in spiritistic terms, 
Joseph Balsamo was able to manifest himself and 
make himself known in a manner more complete 
through H^lfene as an intermediary, while contin- 
uing to follow and protect her as the reincarnation 
of the royal object of his passion. 

At the seances held with M. Cuendet, Leopold 
frequently showed himself to H61^ne clothed after 
the fashion of the last century and with a face Hke 
G 97 


that of Louis XVI., under the different phases of 
his multiplex genius. He also showed himself to 
her in his laboratory, surrounded by utensils and 
instruments appropriate to the sorcerer and alchem- 
ist that he was ; or, again, as the physician and pos- 
sessor of secret elixirs, the knowledge of which is 
productive of consultations or remedies for the use 
of sitters who need them ; or, again, as the illu- 
mined theosophist, the verbose prophet of the broth- 
erhood of man, who diffuses limping Alexandrine 
verses — which seem to have been inherited from 
his predecessor, Victor Hugo — containing exhorta- 
tions a little weak at times, but always stamped with 
a pure moral tone, elevated and noble sentiments, 
and a very touching religious spirit — in short, a fine 
example of that " ethico-deific verbiage " (if I may be 
allowed the expression, which is an Americanism), 
which, both in prose and in verse, is one of the most 
frequent and estimable products of mediumship. 

But it was not until 1895 that Leopold, benefiting 
by the progress made by the automatic phenomena 
in H61fene, multiplied and perfected his processes 
of communication. The first step consisted in sub- 
stituting, in his dictations by spelling, the move- 
ments of the hand or of a single finger for those of 
the whole table. This was the immediate result of 
a suggestion of mine. 

The second step in advance was the handwriting, 
which shows two stages. In the first, Leopold gave 
H61^ne the impression of a phrase (verbo-visual hal- 
lucination), which she copied in pencil on a sheet 
of paper, in her own handwriting. The second, 



J^utolS -iu footer eefcc J9^uJ de /cti 
(ptCroLS-iu e/ue ■fd-foaut^cia.nS 

ef dW99ZC 

U , (^u -a u^0Lf.Td 'foui- a cet i^oz^ta-yft 
^& -Hu^i <jorce d^'^tre d'um mand^^ 
^docs in 'ahtencr- ae ieccucoula 

Fig- 3- Handwriting of Leopold. Fragments of two letters, one in Alexandrine verse, 
the other in prose, entirely in the hand of Leopold, autoraatically written by Mile. 
Smith in spontaneous hemisomnambulism- 

Fig. 4. Normal handwriting of Mile, Smitti. 



which was only accomphshed five months later, 
and which consisted in writing directly with H6- 
l^ne's hand, permitted the immediate establishment 
of three curious facts. One is, that Leopold holds 
his pen in the usual manner, the handle resting be- 
tween the thumb and the index-finger, while H^lfene, 
in writing, always holds her pen-handle or pencil 
between the index and middle fingers, a very rare 
habit with us. The next is that Leopold has an 
entirely different handwriting from that of H61^ne, 
a calligraphy more regular, larger, more painstak- 
ing, and with marked differences in the formation 
of the letters (see Figs. 3 and 4). The third is 
that he uses the style of handwriting of the last cen- 
tury, and puts an o instead of an a in the tenses of 
the verbs, j'amois, for j'amais, etc. These three 
characteristics he has never departed from during 
all the four years that I have been accumulating 
specimens of his handwriting. 

The following is a r6sum6 of the seances at which 
these two innovations took place. 

April 21, 1895. — As I had just asked Leopold a 
question which he did not like, H616ne, being in a 
state of hemisomnambulism, with a pencil and some 
sheets of paper placed before her, in the hope of ob- 
taining some communication (not from Leopold), 
seemed about to plunge into a very interesting peru- 
sal of one of the blank sheets ; then, at my request, 
which she with difficulty comprehended, she com- 
menced to write rapidly and nervously on another 
sheet, in her usual handwriting, a copy of the im- 
aginary text which Leopold was showing her (" in 


fluid letters," as he said afterwards at the seance) as 
follows : " My thoughts are not thy thoughts, and thy 
wishes are not mine, friend Flournoy — Leopold." At 
the final awakening H61fene recognized perfectly her 
own handwriting in his phrase, but had no recol- 
lection of the occurrence. 

September 22, 1895. — After different visions and 
some stanzas of Victor Hugo, dictated by the table, 
Helfene appeared to suffer considerably in her right 
arm, which she was holding at the wrist with her left 
hand, when the table at which she was seated gave 
out the following, dictated by Leopold : " I shall 
hold her hand," meaning that it was he, Leopold, 
who was causing Mile. Smith to suffer pain by seiz- 
ing her right hand. As she seemed to feel very 
badly and began to weep, Leopold was asked to de- 
sist ; but he refused, and, still speaking through the 
table, said, " Give her some paper," then, " More 
light." Writing material was furnished her and 
the lamp brought in, which H^l&ne gazed at fixed- 
ly, while Leopold continued to dictate (this time with 
the little finger of her left hand), " Let her gaze on 
the lamp until she forgets the pain in her arm." She 
then seemed, in fact, to forget her pain, and to find 
satisfaction in looking at the lamp ; then she fast- 
ened her eyes on the paper, and seemed to read 
something there which she endeavored to copy in 
pencil. But here the right hand began a curious 
alternation of contrary motions, expressing in a very 
clear manner a contest with Leopold, who was try- 
ing to compel her to hold the pencil in a certain 
way, which Helena refused to do, with a great pre- 


tence of anger. She persisted in holding it between 
the index and middle fingers, as was her wont, while 
Leopold wanted her to hold it in the usual way, be- 
tween the thumb and the index-finger, and said : " I 
do not wish her to . . . she is holding the pencil 
very badly." The right index - finger then went 
through a very comical gymnastic performance, be- 
ing seized with a tremor, which caused her to place 
it on one side or the other of the pencil, according to 
whether it was Leopold or H61^ne who was victori- 
ous ; during this time she frequently raised her eyes, 
with a look sometimes reproachful, sometimes sup- 
plicating, as if to gaze at Leopold standing by her 
side endeavoring to force her to hold the pencil in 
the manner he preferred. After a contest of nearly 
twenty minutes, H616ne, vanquished and completely 
subdued by Leopold, seemed to be absent, while her 
hand, holding the pencil in the manner she did not 
like, wrote slowly the two following lines, followed by 
a rapid and feverish signature of Leopold : 

" Mes vers sont si mauvais que pour toi j'aurois dfi 
Laisser k tout jamais le pofete tetu. — Leopold." 

An allusion, which was of no importance, to a re- 
mark made by me at the commencement of the se- 
ance on the verses of Victor Hugo and those of Leo- 
pold frequently dictated by the table. The seance 
lasted some time longer ; on awakening, H^lfene 
vaguely remembered having seen Leopold, but knew 
nothing more concerning the handwriting scene. 

It is a fact that while jier other incarnations are 
always accomplished passively and without any 


struggle, that of Leopold has the peculiarity of reg- 
ularly provoking more or less resistance on the part 
of H^l^ne. " I do not make of her all that I wish 
. . . she is headstrong. ... I do not know whether 
I shall succeed. ... I do not believe I can master 
her to-day ..." replies he often when asked to in- 
carnate himself or write with her hand, and, indeed, 
his efforts often fail. There exists between H6]^ne 
and her guide a curious phenomenon of contrast and 
opposition, which only breaks out in the higher and 
more recent forms of motor automatism, the hand- 
writing, the speech, or the complete incarnation, but 
from which the sensory messages and simple raps 
on the table or of the finger are free. It is very pos- 
sible that the idea, very antipathetic to Hel^ne, of 
the hypnotizer mastering his subjects in spite of 
themselves — of the disincarnated Cagliostro using his 
medium as a simple tool — has been subconsciously 
the origin of this constant note of revolt against the 
total domination of Leopold, and of the intense suffer- 
ing which accompanied his first incarnations, and 
which has slowly diminished through her becoming 
accustomed to the process, though it has never been 
completely banished. 

After the handwriting, in its turn came speech, 
which also was attained by means of two stages. 
In a first attempt Leopold only succeeded in giving 
H^lfene his intonation and pronunciation after a 
seance in which she suffered acutely in her mouth 
and in her neck, as though her vocal organs were 
being manipulated or removed; she began to talk 
in a natural tone, and was apparently wide awake 



and feeling well, but spoke with a deep bass voice, 
and a strong, easily recognizable Italian accent. It 
was not until a year later that Leopold was finally 
able to speak himself by the mouth of Mile. Smith, 
while she was completely entranced, and who did not 
retain on awakening any memory of this strange oc- 
currence. Since then the complete control of the 
medium by her guide is a frequent occurrence at 
the seances, and affords a tableau very character- 
istic and always impressive. 

Leopold succeeds in incarnating himself only by 
slow degrees and progressive stages. Hel^ne then 
feels as though her arms had been seized, or as if they 
were absent altogether; then she complains of dis- 
agreeable sensations, which were formerly painful, in 
her throat, the nape of her neck, and in her head ; her 
eyelids droop ; her expression changes ; her throat 
swells into a sort of double chin, which gives her a 
likeness of some sort to the well-known figure of 
Cagliostro. All at once she rises, then, turning 
slowly towards the sitter whom Leopold is about to 
address, draws herself up proudly, turns her back 
quickly, sometimes with her arms crossed on her 
breast with a magisterial air, sometimes with one 
of them hanging down while the other is pointed 
solemnly towards heaven, and with her fingers makes 
a sort of masonic sign, which never varies. Soon 
after a series of hiccoughs, sighs, and various noises 
indicate the difficulty Leopold is experiencing in tak- 
ing hold of the vocal apparatus ; the words c6me forth 
slowly but strong ; the deep bass voice of a man, 
slightly confused, with a pronunciation and accent 



markedly foreign, certainly more like Italian than 
anything else. Leopold is not always easily under- 
stood, especially when his voice swells and thunders 
out a reply to some indiscreet question or to the dis- 
respectful remarks of some skeptical sitter. He 
speaks thickly, pronounces g like j, and all his u's like 
ou, accents the final syllables, embellishes his vo- 
cabulary with obsolete words, or words which do 
not fit the circumstances, such as fiole for boiiteille, 
omnibus for tramways, etc. He is pompous, grandil- 
oquent, unctuous, sometimes severe and terrible, 
sometimes also sentimental. He says " thee " and 
" thou " to everybody, and appears to believe that he 
is still grand-master of the secret societies, from the 
emphatic and sonorous manner in which he pro- 
nounces the words " Brother " or "And thou, my sis- 
ter," by which he addresses the sitters. Although 
he generally addresses himself to one of them in 
particular, and holds very little collective discourse, 
he is in touch with every one, listens to everything 
that is said, and each one may have his turn in con- 
versation with him. Ordinarily he keeps his eye- 
lids closed : he has, nevertheless, been persuaded 
to open his eyes in order to permit the taking of a 
photograph by a flash light. I regret that Mile. 
Smith would not consent to the publication of her 
photographs, either in her normal state or in that of 
Leopold, in connection with the reproduction of a 
portrait of Cagliostro.* The reader may assure him- 

* The one which is found, for example, at the beginning of 
the Vie de Joseph Bahama, etc., translated from the Italian (3d 
edition, Paris, 1791), and which has been several times repro- 



self that when she incarnates her guide she really 
assumes a certain resemblance of features to him, 
and there is something in her attitude which is some- 
times somewhat theatrical, but sometimes really maj- 
estic, which corresponds well to the generally received 
idea of this personage, whether he is regarded as a 
clever impostor or as a wonderful genius. 

Speech is the apogee of the incarnations of Leopold ; 
often interrupted by fits of hiccoughs and spasms, 
it seems to be injurious to H61fene's organism, and 
there are some seances at which attempts to produce 
it fail to succeed. Leopold, on these occasions, indi- 
cates his impotence and the fatigue of the medium 
by his gestures, and is then reduced to the necessity 
of expressing himself by digital dictations or hand- 
writing, or else to giving H^lfene verbo-auditive hal- 
lucinations, the content of which she repeats in her 
natural voice. 

From the point of view of ease and mobility of the 
entire organism, there is a notable difference between 
Leopold and the other incarnations of Helfene : these 
last seem to be effected with much more facility than 
in the case of that of her guide par excellence. In 
the case of the Hindoo princess and that of Marie 
Antoinette, the perfection of the play, the suppleness 
and freedom of movement, are always admirable. It 
is true there is no question here, according to the 
spiritistic doctrine and the subconscious ideas of Mile. 
Smith, of incarnations properly so called, since it 

duced. Mile. Smith has hanging over her fireplace a fine copy 
of this portrait. 

1 06 


is she herself who simply returns to that which she 
formerly was, by a sort of reversion or prenatal 
ecmnesia ; she does not undergo, in consequence, 
any foreign possession, and can in these roles pre- 
serve her natural identity and the entire disposition 
of her faculties. But still the occasional incarna- 
tion of different personalities, such as those of de- 
ceased parents or friends of the spectators, are often 
more easily and quickly effected than that of Leopold. 
H61ene moves in these cases with more vivacity and 
changes of attitude. In the role of Cagliostro, on the 
other hand, with the exception of the grandiose and 
not very frequent movements of the arms, once stand- 
ing, she remains motionless, or only with difficulty 
advancing a little way towards the person to whom 
she addresses her discourse. « 

The content of the oral conversations of Leopold, 
as well as of his other messages by the various sen- 
sory and motor processes, is too varied for me to 
describe here : the numerous examples scattered 
through this work only can give an idea of it. 

III. Leopold and the True Joseph 

It would naturally be supposed that Leopold would 
have given us, by means of the psychological per- 
fection of his partial or total incarnations and by the 
content of his messages, such a living likeness of 
Cagliostro that there would have been occasion to 
ask whether it is not really the latter who actually 
"returns," in the same way that Dr. Hodgson and his 



colleagues ask themselves whether it is not actually 
George Pelham who manifests himself through Mrs. 
Piper. Let us suppose, for example, that Leopold 
possessed a handwriting, an orthography, a style 
identical with that which is found here and there in 
the manuscripts of Joseph Balsamo ; that he spoke 
French, Italian, or German, as that cosmopolitan ad- 
venturer did, and with all the same peculiarities ; 
that his conversations and messages were full of 
precise allusions to actual events in his life, and 
also of unpublished but verifiable facts, etc. In that 
case the difficult and delicate task of proving that 
Mile. Smith had no knowledge through normal 
methods of these thousand exact features would still 
remain, and we should not be forced to ask whether 
this soi-disant authentic revenant is simply a very 
well-gotten-up simulacrtim, an admirable reconstruc- 
tion, a marvellous imitation, such as the subliminal 
facidties are only too glad to produce for the diver- 
sion of psychologists and the mystification of the 

This problem is not given to us. I regret it, but 
it is true, nevertheless — to my mind, at least, for 
in these matters it is prudent to speak only for one's 
self — that there is no reason to suspect the real pres- 
ence of Joseph Balsamo behind the automatisms 
of Mile. Smith. 

That there are very curious analogies between 
what is known to us of Cagliostro and certain charac- 
teristic traits of Leopold, I do not deny, but they are 
precisely such as accord very well with the suppo- 
sition of the subliminal medley. 

1 08 


^ f ^ ^' ^ J^ 


\^ ^ 



Let us consider first the handwriting. To facili- 
tate the comparison, I have reproduced here (see pp. 
109 and III) some fragments of letters of Cagliostro 
and of Leopold and of H^lfene. Let us suppose— 
which is, perhaps, open to discussion — that the 
handwriting of Leopold, by its regularity, its firm- 
ness, resembles that of Balsamo more than that 
of Mile. Smith ; the degree of resemblance does not, 
I think, go beyond that which might be expected 
considering the notorious fact that handwriting 
reflects the psychological temperament and modifies 
itself in accordance with the state of the personality.* 

It is well known how the calligraphy of a hyno 
tized subject varies according to the suggestion 
that he shall personate Napoleon, Harpagon, a lit- 
tle girl, or an old man ; there is nothing surprising 
in the fact that the hypnoid secondary personality 
of Helene, which imagines itself to be the powerful 
and manly Count of Cagliostro, should be accom- 
panied by muscular tensions communicating to the 
handwriting itself a little of that solidity and breadth 
which are found in the autograph of Balsamo. To 
this, however, the analogy is limited. The dissimi- 
larities in the detail and the formation of the letters 
are such that the only conclusion which they war- 
rant is that Mile. Smith, or her subconsciousness, 
has never laid eyes on the manuscripts of Cagliostro. 
They are, indeed, rare, but the facilities she might 
have had, of which she has not thought of taking 

* See, e.g., Ferrari, Hericourt, and Richet, " Personality and 
Handwriting," Revue philosophique, vol. xxi. p. 414. 




&, $(> ^ 





advantage, for consulting in the Geneva public li- 
brary the same volume from which I took Fig. 5, 
would prove, at least, her good faith and her hon- 
esty, if it were in the least necessary. The extrav- 
agant signature of Leopold with which all his mes- 
sages are subscribed (see Fig. 7) recalls in no wise that 
of Alessandro di Cagliostro at the bottom of Fig. 5. 

The archaic forms of orthography, faurois for 
j'aurais, etc., which appear above the first auto- 
graph of Leopold (see p. 99), and which occur again 
in the messages of Marie Antoinette, constitute a 
very pretty hit, of which the ordinary self would 
probably never dream by way of voluntary imita- 
tion, but by which the subconscious imagination 
has seen fit to profit. It is undoubtedly a matter 
for wonderment that Mile. Smith, who has not gone 
very deep into literary studies, should, neverthe- 
less, have retained these orthographic peculiarities 
of the eighteenth century; but we must not over- 
look the fineness of choice, the refined sensibility, 
the consummate, albeit instinctive, art which pre- 
sides over the sorting and storing away of the subcon- 
scious memories. By some natural affinity, the idea 
of a personage of a certain epoch attracts and gath- 
ers into its net everything that the subject can pos- 
sibly learn or hear spoken concerning the fashion 
of writing, of speaking, or acting, peculiar to that 
epoch. I do not know whether Balsamo ever used 
the French language and the orthography that Leo- 
pold employs. Even if he did, it would not weaken 
the hypothesis of the subliminal imitation, but if, 
on the other hand, it should be ascertained that he 


did not, the hypothesis would be greatly strength- 
ened thereby. 

As for the speech, I am ignorant as to how, with 
what accent and what peculiarities of pronuncia- 
tion, Balsaino spoke the French tongue, and to what 
degree, in consequence, his reconstruction by H6- 
Ibne's subliminal fantasy correctly hits it. If this 
point could be cleared up, it would probably be 
found to be just like that of the handwriting. 
Nothing could be more natural than to ascribe to 
the chevalier d'industrie of Palermo a very mascu- 
line, deep-bass voice, and, it goes without saying, 
as Italian as possible. It must be noted, too, that 
Mile. Smith often heard her father speak that lan- 
guage, which he knew very well, with several of his 
friends ; but that, on the ' other hand, she does not 
speak it, and has never learned it. Leopold, how- 
ever, does not know Italian, and turns a deaf ear 
when any one addresses him in that language. 
The intonation, the attitude, the whole physiog- 
nomy, in short, accord with these remarks. As to 
the extremely varied content of the conversations 
and messages of Leopold, we are not obliged to 
consider Balsamo as their necessary author. When 
everything relating to Mile. Smith and the sitters, 
but which has nothing to do wiiii the last century, 
has been swept aside, together with the spiritistic 
dissertations in regard to the " fluid " manner in 
which Leopold exists, perceives, and moves, the 
three subjects or categories of communications still 
remain, which merit a rapid examination. 

In the first place, there are the answers of Leopold 
H "3 


to the questions put to him concerning his terres- 
trial hfe. These answers are remarkably evasive 
or vague. Not a name, not a date, not a precise 
fact does he furnish. We only learn that he has 
travelled extensively, suffered greatly, studied deep- 
ly, done much good, and healed a great many sick 
folk ; but now he sees things too lofty to think any 
more about historic details of the past, and it is 
with unconcealed disgust or direct words of re- 
proach for the idle curiosity of his carnal questioners 
that he hastens to turn the conversation, like Soc- 
rates, to moral subjects and those of a lofty philos- 
ophy, where he feels evidently more at ease. When 
he is further pressed he becomes angry sometimes, 
and sometimes ingenuously avows his ignorance, 
enveloping it meanwhile in an air of profound mys- 
tery. " They are asking the secret of my life, of my 
acts, of my thoughts. I cannot answer." This does 
not facilitate investigation of the question of identity. 
In the second place come the consultations and 
medical prescriptions. Leopold affects a lofty dis- 
dain for modern medicine and phenic acid. He is 
as archaic in his therapeutics as in his orthography, 
and treats all maladies after the ancient mode. Baths 
of pressed grape-skins for rheumatism, an infusion 
of coltsfoot and juniper - berry in white wine for 
inflammations of the chest, the bark of the horse- 
chestnut in red wine and douches of salt water as 
tonics, tisanes of hops and other flowers, camomile, 
oil of lavender, the leaves of the ash, etc. ; all these 
do not accord badly with what Balsamo might 
have prescribed a century or more ago. The mis- 



fortune, from the evidential point of view, is that 
Mile. Smith's mother is extremely well versed in all 
the resources of popular medicine where old recipes 
are perpetuated. She has had occasion to nurse 
many sick people in her life, knows the virtues of 
different medicinal plants, and constantly employs, 
with a sagacity which I have often admired, a num- 
ber of those remedies spoken of as " old-women's," 
which make the young doctors fresh from the clinic 
smile, but to which they will more than once resort 
in secret after a few years of medical experience. 

Finally, there still remain the sentiments of Leo- 
pold for H61fene, which he claims are only the con- 
tinuation of those of Cagliostro for Marie Antoinette. 
My ignorance of history does not permit me to pro- 
nounce categorically on this point. That the Queen 
of France did have some secret interviews with the 
famous " gold-maker," due to simple curiosity or to 
questions of material interest, there is no doubt, I 
believe ; but that his feelings for his sovereign were 
a curious combination of the despairing passion of 
Cardinal Rohan for the queen, with the absolute re- 
spect which Alexandre Dumas, pere, ascribes to Jo- 
seph Balsamo towards Lorenza Feliciani, appears to 
me less evident. 

In short, if the revelations of Leopold have truly 
unveiled to us shades of feeling of Count Cagliostro 
hitherto unsuspected, and of which later documen- 
tary researches shall confirm the historic correctness 
— why, so much the better, for that will finally estab- 
lish a trace of the supernormal in the mediumship of 

Ha^ne ! 



IV. Leopold and Mlle. Smith 

The connection between these two personalities 
is too complex for a precise description. There is 
neither a mutual exclusion, as between Mrs. Piper 
and Phinuit, who appear reciprocally to be ignorant 
of each other and to be separated by the tightest 
of partitions; nor a simple jointing, as in the case of 
Felida X., whose secondary state envelops and over- 
flows the whole primary state. This is more of a 
crossing of lines, but of which the limits are vague 
and with difficulty assignable. Leopold knows, fore- 
sees, and recalls very many things of which the nor- 
mal personality of Mlle. Smith knows absolutely 
nothing, not only of those which she may simply 
have forgotten, but of those of which she never had 
any consciousness. On the other hand, he is far 
from possessing all the memories of H61fene ; he is 
ignorant of a very great part of her daily life ; even 
some very notable incidents escape him entirely, 
which explains his way of saying that, to his great 
regret, he cannot remain constantly by her, being 
obliged to occupy himself with other missions (con- 
cerning which he has never enlightened us) which 
oblige him often to leave her for a time. 

These two personalities are, therefore, not co-ex- 
tensive ; each one passes beyond the other at certain 
points, without its being possible for us to say which 
is, on the whole, the more extended. As to their 
common domain, if it cannot be defined by one word 
with entire certainty, it appears, nevertheless, to be 



chiefly constituted by its connection with the inner- 
most ranges of the being, both phys.ological and 
psychological, as might be suspected from what I 
remarked above concerning the real origin of Leo- 
pold. Physician of the soul and of the body, di- 
rector of conscience, and at the same time hygienic 
counsellor, he does not always manifest himself im- 
mediately, but he is always present when Ha&ne's 
vital interests are involved. This wdl be made 
clearer by two or three concrete examples, which 
will at the same time illustrate some of the psy- 
chological processes by which Leopold manifests 
himself to Hel^ne. 

It must be admitted that there is a disagreement 
and opposition as complete as possible (but how far 
does this "possible" go?) when Hel^ne, in at least 
an apparently waking state, converses with her 
guide, manifestly by a partial sensory or motor au- 
tomatism ; for example, in the case cited on page 64, 
where Leopold, not sharing the allochiria of Heltee, 
declared by the table that she was wrong, so emphati- 
cally that she protested and became angry ; also, 
when in verbo-auditive hallucinations, or by auto- 
matic handwriting, he enters into discussion with 
her, and she holds her own with him ; or, again, 
when the organism seems to be divided up between 
two different persons, Leopold speaking by Hel^ne's 
mouth, with his accent, and uttering his own ideas 
to her, and she complaining, in writing, of pains in 
her head and throat, without understanding their 
cause. Nevertheless, in these cases of division of the 
consciousness, which appear to amount to its cutting 



in two, it is doubtful whether this plurality is more 
than apparent. I am not positive of having ever 
established with H61fene a veritable simultaneity of 
different consciousnesses. At the very moment 
at which Leopold writes by her hand, speaks by her 
mouth, dictates to the table, upon observing her at- 
tentively I have always found her absorbed, pre- 
occupied, as though absent ; but she instantaneous- 
ly recovers her presence of mind and the use of her 
waking faculties at the end of the motor atxtoma- 
tism. In short, that which from the outside is taken 
for the coexistence of distinct simultaneous person- 
alities seems to me to be only an alternation, a rapid 
succession between the state of H61^ne- conscious- 
ness and the state of Leopold - consciousness ; and, 
in the case where the body seems to be jointly oc- 
cupied by two independent beings — the right side, 
for instance, being occupied by Leopold, and the 
left by Hel^ne, or the Hindoo princess — the psychical 
division has never seemed to me to be radical, but 
many indications have combined to make me of the 
opinion that behind all was an individuality per- 
fectly self-conscious, and enjoying thoroughly, along 
with the spectators, the comedy of the plural exist- 

A single fundamental personality, putting the 
questions and giving the answers, quarrelling with 
itself in its own interior — in a word, enacting all the 
various roles of Mile. Smith — is a fitting interpreta- 
tion, which accords very well with the facts as I have 
observed them in H61bne, and very much better than 
the theory of a plurality of separate consciousness- 



es, of a psychological polyzoism, so to speak. This 
last theory is doubtless more convenient for a clear 
and superficial description of the facts, but I am not 
at all convinced that it conforms to the actual con- 
dition of affairs. 

It is a state of consciousness sui generis, which it 
is impossible adequately to describe, and which can 
only be represented by the analogy of those curious 
states, exceptional in the normal waking life, but 
less rare in dreams, when one seems to change his 
identity and become some one else. 

Helfene has more than once told me of having had 
the impression of becoming or being momentarily 
Leopold. This happens most frequently at night, 
or upon awakening in the morning. She has first 
a fugitive vision of her protector ; then it seems that 
little by little he is submerged in her; she feels him 
overcoming and penetrating her entire organism, as 
if he really became her or she him. These mixed 
states are extremely interesting to the psychologist; 
unhappily, because they generally take place in a 
condition of consecutive amnesia, or because the 
mediums do not know how, or do not wish, to give a 
complete account of them, it is very rare that detailed 
descriptions are obtained. 

Between the two extremes of complete duality and 
complete unity numerous intermediate states are to 
be observed ; or, at least, since the consciousness of 
another cannot be directly penetrated, these mixed 
states may be inferred from the consequences which 
spring from them. 

It has happened, for example, that, believing they 


were dealing with Leopold alone, thoroughly incar- 
nated and duly substituted for the personality of 
Mile. Smith, the sitters have allowed to escape them 
on that account some ill-timed pleasantry, some in- 
discreet question or too free criticisms, all innocent 
enough and without evil intention, but still of a nat- 
ure to wound H61^ne if she had heard them, and from 
w hich the authors would certainly have abstained in 
her presence in a waking state. 

Leopold has not stood upon ceremony in putting 
down these imprudent babblers, and the incident, 
generally, has had no further consequences. But 
sometimes the words and bearing of Mile. Smith for 
days or weeks afterwards show that she was aware 
of the imprudent remarks, which proves that the con- 
sciousness of Leopold and her own are not separated 
by an impenetrable barrier, btit that osmotic changes 
are effected from the one to the other. It is ordinar- 
ily pointed and irritating remarks which cause the 
trouble, which goes to prove that it is the feelings of 
self-love or personal susceptibility that form in each 
one of us the inmost fortifications of the social self, 
and are the last to be destroyed by somnambulism, or 
that they constitute the fundamental substratum, tlje 
common base by which Leopold and Mile. Smith form - 
a whole and mingle themselves in the same indi- 

The psychological process of this transmission is 
varied from another cause. Sometimes it appears 
that the consecutive amnesia of the trance has been 
broken as to the most piquant details, and that H^l^ne 
clearly remembers that which has been said, in the 



presence of Leopold, disagreeable to herself. Some 
times it is Leopold himself who repeats to her the un- 
pleasant expressions which have been used, with com- 
mentaries calculated to lessen their effect and to ex- 
cuse the culprits : for it is an interesting trait of his 
character that he undertakes with H61fene the defence 
of those same persons whom he reprimands and 
blames, a contradiction not at all surprising when 
it is psychologically interpreted, considering the 
habitual conflict of emotional motives or tendencies, 
the warfare which opposite points of view is inces- 
santly carrying on in our inmost being. Sometimes, 
again, it is in a dream that the junction is effected 
between the somnambulistic consciousness of Leo- 
pold and the normal consciousness of H616ne. 

Apropos of the last case, here is an example con- 
taining nothing disagreeable, in which H^lene re- 
membered in her waking state a nocturnal dream, 
which was itself a repetition or echo, in natural 
sleep, of a somnambulistic scene of the previous even- 

In a seance at which I assisted, shortly after my 
recovery from an attack of congestion of the lungs, 
Hel^ne, completely entranced, has a vision of Leopold- 
Cagliostro, who, in the role of sympathetic physician, 
comes to hold a consultation with me. After some 
preliminaries she kneels down by my chair, and, look- 
ing alternately at my chest and at the fictitious doctor 
standing between us, she holds a long conversation 
with him, in which she explains the condition of my 
lungs, which she sees in imagination, and the treat- 
ment which Leopold prescribes, somewhat as follows ; 



" . . . It is the lungs ... it is darker ... it is one 
side which has been affected . . . You say that it 
is a severe inflammation — and can that be healed ? 
. . . Tell me, what must be done . . . Oh, where have 
I seen any of these plants ? . . . I don't know what 
they are called . . . those ... I don't understand 
very well . . . those synantherous ? . . . Oh, what 
a queer name . . . Where are they to be found ? 
. . . You say it belongs to the family of . . . then 
it has another name ? Tell me what it is . . . some 
tissulages [sic] . . Then you think this plant is good 
for him ? . . . Ah ! but explain this to me . . . the 
fresh leaves or the dried flowers ? Three times a day, 
a large handful in a pint . . and then honey and 
milk. ... I will tell him that he must drink three 
cups a day . . ." etc. Then followed very detailed 
directions as to treatment, various infusions, blis- 
ters, etc. The whole scene lasted more than an 
hour, followed by complete amnesia, and nothing 
was said to H61^ne about it, as it was half-past six 
in the evening, and she was in haste to return home. 
The next day she wrote me a seven-page letter in 
which she described a very strik ng dream she had 
had during the night. "... I fell asleep about two 
o'clock in the morning and awaked at about five. 
Was it a vision ? Was it a dream I had ? I don't 
really know what to consider it and dare not say ; 
but this I do know, I saw my dear friend Leopold, 
who spoke to me a long time about you, and I think 
I saw you also. I asked him what he thought of 
your state of health. ... He replied that in his 
opinion it was far from re-established. That the pain 



you feel in the right side came from an inflamma- 
tion of the lung which has been seriously affected 
. . . You will doubtless laugh when I tell you that 
he also described the remedies you ought to take. 
. . . One of them is a simple plant, which is called, 
as nearly as I can remember, Tissulage or Tussilache, 
but has also another name, which 1 cannot recollect, 
but the first name wil doubtless suffice, since he says 
you are familiar with the plant ..." etc. 

What I have said concerning Leopold is also ap- 
plicable to the other personifications of Mile. Smith. 
The normal consciousness of H61ene mingles and 
fuses itself in every way with the somnambulistic 
consciousness of Simandini, of Marie Antoinette, or 
some other incarnation, as we shall soon see. I pass 
now to the examination of some detailed examples, 
destined to throw light upon the role which Leopold 
plays in Helene's existence. 

Let us begin by listening to Leopold himself. 
Among his numerous messages, the following letter, 
written in his fine handwriting by the hand of Mile. 
Smith — in response to a note in which I had begged 
him (as a spiritual being and distinct from her) to 
aid me in my " psychic researches " — contains in- 
formation for which I had not asked, but which was 
none the less interesting. It must not be forgotten 
that it is the disincarnate adorer of Marie Antoinette 
who is writing : 

" Friend, — I am pleased and touched by the mark 
of confidence you have deigned to accord me. The 
spiritual guide of Mademoiselle [Smith], whom the 



Supreme Being in his infinite goodness has per- 
mitted me to find again with ease, I do all I can to 
appear to her on every occasion when I deem it nec- 
essary ; but my body, or, if you prefer, the matter of 
little solidity of which I am composed, does not always 
afford me the facility of showing myself to her in a 
positive human manner. [He, in fact, appeared to 
her often under the form of elementary visual hal- 
lucinations, a luminous trail, whitish column, vapor- 
ous streamer, etc.] 

" That which I seek above all to inculcate in her 
is a consoling and true philosophy, which is neces- 
sary to her by reason of the profound, unhappy im- 
pressions, which even now still remain to her, of 
the whole drama of her past life. I have often sown 
bitterness in her heart [when she was Marie Antoin- 
ette], desiring only her welfare. Also, laying aside 
everything superfluous, I penetrate into the most 
hidden recesses of her soul, and with an extreme 
care and incessant activity I seek to implant there 
those truths which I trust will aid her in attaining 
the lofty summit of the ladder of perfection. 

" Abandoned by my parents from my cradle, I have, 
indeed, known sorrow early in life. Like all, I have 
had many weaknesses, which 1 have expiated, and 
God knows that I bow to His will ! 

" Moral suffering has been my principal lot. I have 
been full of bitterness, of envy, of hatred, of jealousy. 
Jealousy, my brother! what a poison, what a cor- 
ruption of the soul I 

" Nevertheless, one ray has shone brightly into 
my life, and that ray so pure, so full of everything 



that might pour balm on my wounded soul, has given 
me a glimpse of heaven I 

" Herald of eternal felicity ! ray without spot 1 
God deemed best to take it before me I But to-day 
it is given back to me ! May His holy name be 
blessed ! 

" Friend, in what manner shall I reply to you ? 
I am ignorant myself, not knowing what it will 
please God to reveal to you, but through her whom 
you call Mademoiselle [Smith], God willing, perhaps 
we shall be able to satisfy you. 

" Thy friend, 


We can see, under the flowing details of the spiri- 
tistic ideas and his role as the repentant Caglios- 
tro, that the dominant characteristic of Leopold is 
his deep platonic attachment for Mile. Smith, and 
an ardent moral solicitude for her and her advance 
towards perfection. This corresponds perfectly with 
the character of the numerous messages which he ad- 
dresses to her in the course of her daily existence, 
as may be seen from the following specimen. He is 
referring to a case where, after having warned her on 
two occasions during the day by auditive hallucina- 
tions that he would manifest himself in the evening, 
he gives her, in fact, by automatic writing in his 
own hand, the encouragement she was actually in 
need of under the circumstances in which she found 

One morning, at her desk, H61fene heard an un- 
known voice, stronger and nearer to her than is usual 



with Leopold, say to her : "Until this evening"; a 
little later the same voice, which she now recognized 
as that of Leopold, but of a quality rougher and 
nearer to her than was his habit, said to her : " You 
understand me well, until this evening." In the even- 
ing, having returned home, she was excited at supper, 
left the table in haste towards the end of the meal, and 
shut herself up in her room with the idea that she 
would learn something ; but, presently, the instinc- 
tive agitation of her hand indicated to her that she 
should take her pencil, and having done so, she ob- 
tained in the beautiful calligraphy of Leopold the fol- 
lowing epistle. (She says that she remained wide 
awake and self-conscious while writing it, and it is 
the only occasion of a similar character when she 
had knowledge of the content.) 

"My beloved Friend,— Why do you vex your- 
self, torment yourself so ? Why are you indignant, 
because, as you advance in life, you are obliged to 
acknowledge that all things are not as you had wished 
and hoped they might be ? Is not the route we follow 
on this earth always and for all of us strewn with 
rocks? is it not an endless chain of deceptions, of 
miseries ? Do me the kindness, my dear sister, I beg 
of you, to tell me that from this time forth you will 
cease from endeavoring to probe too deeply the hu- 
man heart. In what will such discoveries aid you? 
What remains to you of these things, except tears 
and regrets ? And then this God of love, of justice, 
and of life— is not He the one to read our hearts? It 
is for Him, not for thee, to see into them. 



" Would you change the hearts ? Would you give 
them that which they have not, a live, ardent soul, 
never departing from what is right, just, and true ? 
Be calm, then, in the face of all these little troubles. 
Be worthy, and, above all, always good ! In thee 
I have found again that heart and that soul, both of 
which will always be for me all my life, all my joy, 
and my only dream here below. 

" Believe me : be calm : reflect : that is my wish. 
" Thy friend, 


I have chosen this example for the sake of its brev- 
ity. H61ene has received a number of communica- 
tions of the same kind, sometimes in verse, in which 
the moral and religious note is often still more ac- 
centuated. In the greater part we meet with, as 
in the next to the last phrase of the foregoing let- 
ter, an allusion to the presumed affection of Cagli- 
ostro for Marie Antoinette. It is to be noticed that 
there is nothing in these excellent admonitions that 
a high and serious soul like that of Mile. Smith could 
not have drawn from its own depths in a moment 
of contemplation and meditation. 

Is it a benefit or an injury to the moral and truly 
religious life to formulate itself thus clearly in verbal 
hallucinations rather than to remain in the con- 
fused but more personal state of experienced aspira- 
tions and strongly expressed emotions ? Do these 
inspirations gain or lose in inward authority and 
subjective power by assuming this exterior garb 
and this aspect of objectivity ? This is a delicate 



question, probably not susceptible of a uniform so- 

In the following incident, which I relate as an ex- 
ample among many other similar ones, it is no long- 
er, properly speaking, the moral and religious senti- 
ments personified in Leopold, but rather the instinct 
of reserve and of defence peculiar to the weaker sex, 
the sense of the proprieties, the self-respect, tinctured 
with a shade of exaggeration almost amounting to 

In a visit to Mile. Smith, during which I inquired 
whether she had received any recent communica- 
tions from Leopold, she told me she had only seen 
him two or three times in the last few days, and had 
been struck by his " restless and unhappy " air, in- 
stead of the air "so pleasant, so sweet, so admirable," 
which he generally has. As she did not know to 
what to attribute this change of countenance, I ad- 
vised her to take her pencil and to wrap herself in 
meditation, with the hope of obtaining some auto- 
matic message. 

In about a minute her expression indicated that 
she was being taken possession of; her eyes were 
fixed on the paper, upon which her left hand rested, 
the thumb and little finger being agitated and con- 
tinually tapping (about once a second), the right 
hand having tried to take the pencil between the 
index and middle finger (the manner of H^lene), 
ended by seizing it between the thumb and the in- 
dex finger, and traced slowly in the handwriting 
of Leopold : 

" Yes, I am restless | pained, even in anguish. | 



Believest thou, friend, that it is with satisfaction | 
that I see you every day accepting the attentions, 
the flatteries; | I do not call them insincere, but of 
little worth, and little praiseworthy | on the part of 
those from whom they come." | 

This text was written at six separate times (mark- 
ed by the vertical bars), separated by brief moments 
of full wakefulness, when the tappings of the left 
hand ceased, and when H61ene, repeating in a loud 
voice what she was about to write, is very much 
astonished, does not know to what Leopold alludes, 
then at my request takes her pencil to obtain an ex- 
planation, and falls asleep again during the follow- 
ing fragment. At the end of this bit, as she persists 
in saying that she is ignorant of what he refers to, 
I proceed to question Leopold, who replies that for 
several days H61ene has permitted herself to be 
courted by a M. V. (perfectly honorably), who often 
found himself on the same street-car with her, had 
made a place for her beside him the last few mornings, 
and had paid her some compliments on her appear- 

These revelations excited the laughter and protes- 
tations of Helfene, who commenced to deny that it 
could have come from Leopold, and accused me of 
having suggested it to her little finger ; but the right 
hand took the pencil and traced these words in the 
handwriting and with the signature of Leopold : " I 
only say what I think, and I desire that you refuse 
henceforth all the flowers that he may offer you. — 
Leopold." This time H61&ne remembered the inci- 
dent, and recollected that yesterday morning he had 
I 129 


offered her a rose which he was wearing as a bou- 

Eight days later I paid another visit to H61ene, 
and after an effort to secure some handwriting, which 
was not successful, but resulted in a Martian vision 
(see Martian text No. 14), she had a visual halluci- 
nation of Leopold, and losing consciousness of the 
actual environment and of my presence also, as well 
as that of her mother, she flung herself into a run- 
ning conversation with him in regard to the incident 
of eight days previously : " Leopold . . . Leopold . . . 
don't come near me [repulsing him]. You are too 
severe, Leopold 1 . . . Will you come on Sunday? I 
am going to be at M. Flournoy's next Sunday. You 
will be there . . . but take good care that you do 
not . . . No, it is not kind of you always to disclose 
secrets. . . . What must he have thought ? . . . 
You seem to make a mountain out of a mole-hill. . . . 
And who would think of refusing a flower? You 
don't understand at all. . . . Why, then? It was 
a very simple thing to accept it, a matter of no im- 
portance whatever ... to refuse it would have been 
impolite. . . . You pretend to read the heart. . . . 
Why give importance to a thing that amounts to 
nothing ? ... It is only a simple act of friendship, 
a little token of sympathy ... to make me write 
such things on paper before everybody! not nice of 
you !" In this somnambulistic dialogue, in which 
we can divine Leopold's replies, H61fene took for 
the moment the accent of Marie Antoinette (see be- 
low, in the "Royal cycle"). To awaken her, Leo- 
pold, who had possession of H61^ne's arms, made 



some passes over her forehead, then pressed the fronts 
al and suborbital nerves of the left side, and made 
me a sign to do the same with those of the right. 
The seance of the next day but one, at my house, 
passed without any allusion by Leopold to the inci- 
dent of the street-car, evidently on account of the 
presence of certain sitters to whom he did not wish 
to reveal H61ene's secrets. But, three days after, 
in a new visit, during which she told me of having 
had a waking discussion concerning the future life 
(without telling me with whom), she again wrote, it? 
the hand of Leopold : " It is not in such society as 
this that you ought so seriously to discuss the im- 
mortality of the soul." She then confessed that 
it was again on the street-car, and with M. V. , that 
she had held that conversation while a funeral pro- 
cession was passing. There was never anything 
that might have been of a compromising character 
in the exchange of courtesies and the occasional con- 
versations of Mile. Smith with her neighbor of the 
street-car. The trouble that it caused poor Leopold 
was very characteristic of him, and well indicated 
the severe and jealous censor who formerly had wor- 
ried the N. group ; there can be heard again the 
echo of that voice, " which has absolutely nothing 
to do with the conscience " (see pp. 27 and 82), and 
which has hitherto prevented Helene from accepting 
any of the suitors whom she has encountered in the 
course of her journey through life. This austere 
and rigorous mentor, always wide awake, and tak- 
ing offence at the least freedom which Mile. Smith 
allows herself in the exchange of trifling courtesies, 



represents, in fact, a very common psychological at- 
tribute ; it is not every well-bred feminine soul that 
carries stored in one of its recesses, where it mani- 
fests its presence by scruples more or less vaguely 
felt, certain hesitations or apprehensions, inhibiting 
feelings or tendencies of a shade of intensity varying 
according to the age and the temperament. 

It is not my part to describe this delicate phenom- 
enon. It suffices me to remark that here, as in the 
ethico-religious messages, the personality of Leo- 
pold has in no way aided the essential content of those 
inward experiences of which Mile. Smith is perfectly 
capable by herself ; the form only of their mani- 
festation has gained in picturesque and dramatic 
expression in the mise-en-sc^ne of the automatic 
handwritings and of the somnambulistic dialogue. 
It seems as though the suggestive approach of my 
presence and my questions had been necessary to ex- 
cite these phenomena ; it is, however, very probable, 
to judge from other examples, that my influence only 
hastened the explosion of Leopold in formulated re- 
proaches, and that his latent discontent, hitherto 
noticed in the " re^stless and suffering air " of his 
fugitive visual apparitions, would have terminated, 
after a period of incubation more or less prolonged, in 
breaking out into spontaneous admonitions, auditive 
or written. 

It can be divined that in this role of vigilant guar- 
dian, of an almost excessive zealousness for the hon- 
or or the dignity of Mile. Smith, Leopold is again, 
to my mind, only a product of psychological duplica- 
tion. He represents a certain grouping of inward 



desires and secret instincts, which the hypnoid pre- 
disposition, encouraged by spiritism, has brought 
into a pecuhar prominence and given an aspect of 
foreign personahty ; in the same way, in the phan- 
tasmagoria of the dream, certain after-thoughts, 
almost unperceived while awake, rise to the first 
plane and become transformed into contradictory fic- 
titious personages, whose cutting reproaches aston- 
ish us sometimes on awakening by their disturbing 

A final example will show us Leopold, in his role 
of watcher over the health of Mile. Smith and ad- 
viser of precautions which she ought to take. He 
is not troubled about her general health ; when she 
had la grippe, for instance, or when she is simply 
worn out with fatigue, he scarcely shows himself. 
His attention is concentrated upon certain special 
physiological functions, of the normal exercise of 
which he takes care to be assured. He does not 
otherwise seem to exercise a positive action upon 
them, and cannot modify them in any way ; his of- 
fice seems to be confined to knowing beforehand 
their exact course, and to see that H^lene is not 
guilty of any imprudence which may impede them. 

Leopold here shows a knowledge and prevision 
of the most intimate phenomena of the organism 
which has been observed in the case of secondary 
personalities, and which confers upon them, in that 
respect at least, an unquestionable advantage over 
the ordinary personality. In the case of Mile. 
Smith, the indications of her guide are always of a 
prohibitive nature, calculated to prevent her from 



taking part in spiritistic reunions at a time at which 
she believes herself able to do so with impunity, but 
which he, endowed with a more refined coenaesthetic 
sensibiHty, thinks she ought not to undertake. He 
has for several years formally laid his ban upon 
every kind of mediumistic exercises at certain very 
regular periods. 

He has also on numerous occasions compelled 
her by various messages, categorical auditive hal- 
lucinations, diverse impulses, contractures of the 
arms, forcing her to write, etc., to modify her plans 
and to abandon seances already arranged. This 
is a very clear form of teleological automatism. 

As a specimen of this spontaneous and hygienic 
intervention of Leopold in the life of H61tee, I have 
selected the letter given below, because it combines 
several interesting traits. It well depicts the en- 
ergy with which Mile. Smith is compelled to obey 
her guide. 

The passage from the auditive to the graphic 
form of automatism is also to be noticed in it. Apro- 
pos of this, in the page of this letter reproduced in 
Pig. 8 (see p. 137), it is made clear that the transition 
of the hand of H61^ne to that of Leopold is accom- 
plished brusquely and in a decided manner. The 
handwriting is not metamorphosed gradually, slow- 
ly, but continues to be that of Mile. Smith, becom- 
ing more and more agitated, it is true, and rendered 
almost illegible by the shocks to the arm of which 
Leopold takes hold up to the moment when, suddenly 
and by a bound, it becomes the well -formed calli- 
graphy of Cagliostro. 



^^ January 29, 6.15 a.m. 

"Monsieur, — I awoke about ten minutes ago, 
and heard the voice of Leopold telUng me in a very 
imperious manner, 'Get up out of your bed, and quick- 
ly, very quickly, write to your dear friend, M. Flour- 
noy, that you will not hold a seance to-morrow, and 
that you will not be able to go to his house for 
two weeks, and that you will not hold any seance 
within that period.' I have executed his order, 
having felt myself forced, compelled in spite of 
myself, to obey. I was so comfortable in bed and 
so vexed at being obliged to write you such a mes- 
sage ; but I feel myself forced to do what he bids me. 

" At this moment I am looking at my watch ; it 
is 6.25 o'clock. I feel a very strong shock in my 
right arm — I might better speak of it as an electric 
disturbance — and which I perceive has made me 
write crooked. I hear also at this instant the voice 
of Leopold. I have much difficulty in writing what 
he tells me : '6.42^. Say to him this : I am, sir, 
always your very devoted servant, in body and mind, 
healthy and not unbalanced.' 

" I stopped for some moments after writing these 
words, which I saw very well, after having written 
them, were in the handwriting of Leopold. Immedi- 
ately afterwards, a second disturbance, similar to the 
first, gave me a fresh shock, this time from my feet to 
my head. It all passed so quickly that I am disturbed 
and confused by it. It is true that I am not yet quite 
well. Is this the reason why Leopold prevents my 
going to Florissant to-morrow ? I do not know, but, 
nevertheless, am anxious to follow his advice. , . ." 



Mile. Smith always submits obediently to the com- 
mands of her guide, since, whenever she has trans- 
gressed them, through forgetfulness or neglect, 
she has had cause to repent it. 

It is clear that in this role of special physician of 
Mile. Smith, always au courant of her state of health, 
Leopold could easily be interpreted as personifying 
those vague impressions which spring forth con- 
tinually from the depths of our physical being, in- 
forming us as to what is passing there. 

A neuralgic toothache is felt in a dream hours be- 
fore it makes itself felt in our waking consciousness, 
while some maladies are often thus foreshadowed 
several days before they actually declare themselves. 
All literature is full of anecdotes of this kind ; and 
the psychiatrists have observed that in the form of 
circular alienation, where phases of melancholic de- 
pression and maniacal excitation alternately suc- 
ceed one another more or less regularly with intervals 
of normal equilibrum, it is frequently in sleep that 
the first symptoms of the change of humor can be 
detected which has already begun in the depths of 
the individuality, but will only break forth on the 
outside a little later. But all the hypnoid states are 
connected, and it is not at all surprising that, in the 
case of a subject inclined to automatism, these con- 
fused presentiments should arise with the appearance 
of a foreign personality which is only a degree higher 
than the process of dramatization already so brill- 
iantly at work in our ordinary dreams. 

It will be useless to lengthen or further multiply 
examples of the intervention of Leopold in the life 


^oJt C^i '^ai^ <h'^ Jhd 0,1 ,^^ 

^ "hiO))^^! ^MQ^Qn^ 

/■£*^ Oi Qji/UAZ C^-^ p>nJ2. t*-'^^ . _;-^ 

Fig. ii. A page from a letter of Mile. Smith, showing the spontaneous irruption 
of the personality and the handwriting of Leopold during the waking state ot 


of Mile. Smith. Those which I have given show 
him under his essential aspects, and suf&ce to justify 
H61^ne's confidence in a guide who has never de- 
ceived her, who has always given her the best coun- 
sel, delivered discourses of the highest ethical tone, 
and manifested the most touching solicitude for her 
physical and moral health. It is easy to understand 
that nothing can shake her faith in the real, objective 
existence of this precious counsellor. 

It is really vexatious that the phenomena of dreams 
should be so little observed or so badly understood 
(I do not say by psychologists, but by the general 
public, which prides itself on its psychology), since 
the dream is the prototype of spiritistic messages, and 
holds the key to the explanation of mediumistic phe- 
nomena. If it is regrettable to see such noble, sym- 
pathetic, pure, and in all respects remarkable per- 
sonalities as Leopold reduced to the rank of a dream 
creation, it must be remembered, however, that 
dreams are not always, as idle folk think, things to be 
despised or of no value in themselves : the majority 
are insignificant and deserve only the oblivion to 
which they are promptly consigned. A very large 
number are bad and sometimes even worse than re- 
ality; but there are others of a better sort, and "dream " 
is often a synonym for "ideal." 

To sum up, Leopold certainly expresses in his cen- 
tral nucleus a very honorable and attractive side of 
the character of Mile. Smith, and in taking him as 
her "guide" she only follows inspirations which are 
probably among the best of her nature, 




THE title of this book would naturally commit 
me to a review of the Hindoo romance before 
investigating the Martian cycle. Considera- 
tions of method have caused me to reverse this or- 
der. It is better to advance from the simple to the 
complex, and while we certainly know less concern- 
ing the planet Mars than of India, the romance which 
it has inspired in the subliminal genius of Mile. Smith 
is relatively less difficult to explain than the Oriental 
cycle. In fact, the former seems to spring from pure 
imagination, while in the latter we meet with certain 
actual historical elements, and whence H61^ne's mem- 
ory and intelligence have gained a knowledge of 
them is an extremely difficult problem for us to solve. 
There is, then, only one faculty at work in the Mar- 
tian romance, as a professional psychologist would 
say, while the Oriental cycle calls several into play, 
making it necessary to treat of it later, on account of 
its greater psychological complexity. 

While the unknown language which forms the 
vehicle of many of the Martian messages cannot 
naturally be dissociated from the rest of the cycle, 
it merits, nevertheless, a special consideration, and 



the following chapter will be entirely devoted to it. 
It does not figure in the present chapter, in which 
I shall treat of the origin and the content only of the 
Martian romance. 

I. Origin and Birth of the Martian 

" We dare to hope," says M. Camille Flammarion, 
at the beginning of his excellent work on the planet 
Mars, " that the day will come when scientific meth- 
ods yet unknown to us will give us direct evidences 
of the existence of the inhabitants of other worlds, 
and at the same time, also, will put us in communi- 
cation with our brothers in space."* And on the 
last page of his book he recurs to the same idea, and 
says : " What marvels does not the science of the 
future reserve for our successors, and who would dare 
to say that Martian humanity and terrestrial hu- 
manity will not some day enter into communication 
with each other ?" 

This splendid prospect seems still far off, along 
with that of wireless telegraphy, and almost an Uto- 
pian dream, so long as one holds strictly to the cur- 
rent conceptions of our positive sciences. But break 
these narrow limits ; fly, for example, towards the il- 
limitable horizon which spiritism opens up to its 
happy followers, and as soon as this vague hope 
takes shape, nothing seems to prevent its immedi- 

* C. Flammarion, LaPlankie Mars et ses conditions d' habitabilM, 
p. 3. Paris, 1892. 



ate realization ; and the only cause for wonder is 
found in the fact that no privileged medium has 
yet arisen to have the glory, unique in the world, 
of being the first intermediary between ourselves 
and the human inhabitants of other planets; for 
spiritism takes no more account of the barrier of 
space than of time. The "gates of distance" are 
wide open before it. With it the question of means 
is a secondary matter ; one has only the embar- 
rassment of making a choice. It matters not wheth- 
er it be by intuition, by clairvoyance, bj'^ telepathy, 
or by double personality that the soul is permitted 
to leave momentarily its terrestrial prison and make 
the voyage between this world and others in an in- 
stant of time, or whether the feat is accomplished 
by means of the astral body, by the reincarnation 
of disincarnate omnisciences, by " fluid beings," 
or, in a word, by any other process whatever. The 
essential point is, according to spiritism, that no 
serious objection would be offered to the possibility 
of such communication. The only difficulty would 
be to find a mediumistic subject possessing sufficient 
psychical faculties. It is a simple question of fact; 
if such a one has not yet been found, it is apparent- 
ly only because the time is not yet ripe. But now 
that astronomers themselves appeal to those " un- 
known methods of actual science " to put us en rap- 
port with other worlds, no doubt spiritism — which 
is the science of to-morrow, as definite as absolute re- 
ligion — will soon respond to these legitimate aspira- 
tions. We may, therefore, expect at any moment 
the revelation so impatiently looked for, and every 



good medium has the right to ask herself whether 
she is not the being predestined to accomplish this 
unrivalled mission. 

These are the considerations which, to my mind, 
in their essential content inspired in the subliminal 
part of Mile. Smith the first idea of her Martian ro- 
mance. I would not assert that the passages from 
M. Flammarion which I have quoted came directly 
to the notice of H^l^ne, but they express and reca- 
pitulate wonderfully well one of the elements of the 
atmosphere in which she found herself at the be- 
ginning of her mediumship. For if there are no 
certain indications of her ever having read any work 
on the " heavenly worlds" and their inhabitants, 
either that of M. Flammarion or of any other au- 
thor, she has, nevertheless, heard such subjects dis- 
cussed. She is perfectly familiar with the name of 
the celebrated astronomical writer Juvisy, and knows 
something of his philosophical ideas, which, by-the- 
way, is not at all surprising when we consider the 
popularity he enjoys among spiritists, who find in 
him a very strong scientific support for their doctrine 
of reincarnation on other planets. 

I also have evidence that in the circle of Mme. N., 
of which Fldlfene was a member in 1892, the conver- 
sation more than once turned in the direction of 
the habitability of Mars, to which the discovery 
of the famous " canals " has for some years special- 
ly directed the attention of the general public. This 
circumstance appears to me to explain sufficiently 
the fact that H^lSne's subliminal astronomy should 
be concerned with this planet. It is, moreover, quite 



possible that the first germs of the Martian fomance 
date still further back than the beginning of H^lene's 
mediumship. The Oriental role shows indications of 
concerning itself with that planet, and the very clear 
impression which she has of having in her child- 
hood and youth experienced many visions of a similar 
kind ■" without her noticing them particularly," gives 
rise to the supposition that the ingredients of which 
this cycle is composed date from many years back. 
Possibly they may have one and the same primitive 
source in the exotic memories, descriptions, or pict- 
ures of tropical countries which later branched out 
under the vigorous impulsion of spiritistic ideas in 
two distinct currents, the Hindoo romance on the 
one side and the Martian on the other, whose waters 
are mingled on more than one occasion afterwards. 

While, on the whole, therefore, it is probable that 
its roots extend back as far as the childhood of Mile. 
Smith, it is nevertheless with the Martian romance, 
as well as with the others, not a mere question of the 
simple cryptomnesiac return of facts of a remote past, 
or of an exhumation of fossil residua brought to light 
again by the aid of somnambulism. It is a very active 
process, and one in full course of evolution, nour- 
ished, undoubtedly, by elements belonging to the 
past, but which have been recombined and moulded 
in a very original fashion, until it amounts finally, 
among other things, to the creation of an unknown 
language. It will be interesting to follow step by step 
the phases of this elaboration : but since it always, 
unfortunately, hides itself in the obscurity of the sub- 
consciousness, we are only cognizant of it by its occa- 



sional appearances, and all the rest of that subter- 
ranean work must be inferred, in a manner somewhat 
hypothetical, from those supraliminal eruptions and 
the scanty data which we have concerning the out- 
ward influences which have exerted a stimulating in- 
fluence upon the subliminal part of H61^ne. It was 
in 1892, then, that the conversations took place which 
were to prepare the soil for this work of lofty subli- 
minal fantasy, and planted in H^l^ne's mind the 
double idea, of enormous scientific interest, that she 
could enter into direct relation with the inhabitants 
of Mars, and of the possibility, unsuspected by sci- 
entists, but which spiritism furnishes us, of reaching 
there by a mediumistic route. I doubt, however, 
whether that vague suggestion on the part of the en- 
vironment would have sufficed to engender the Mar- 
tian dream — since for more than two years no sign of 
its eruption mainfested itself — without the interven- 
tion of some fillip more concrete, capable of giving a 
start to the whole movement. It is not easy, unfort- 
unately, for want of records of the facts, to assign 
with precision the circumstances under which and the 
moment when H61^ne's subconscious imagination re- 
ceived that effective impulsion, but an unequivocal 
trace is discovered, as I am about to show in the con- 
temporaneous report ol the proceedings of the first 
distinctly Martian seance of Mile. Smith. 

In March, 1894, H61fene made the acquaintance of 
M. Lemaltre, who, being exceedingly interested in 
the phenomena of abnormal psychology, was present 
with others at some of her seances, and finally begged 
her to hold some at his house. At the first of these 



(October 28, 1894), Hfl^ne met a lady, a widow, who 
was greatly to be pitied. Besides suffering from 
a very serious affection of the eyes, Mme. Mirbel 
had been terribly afflicted by the loss of her only 
son, Alexis, seventeen years old, and a pupil of M. 
Lemaitre. While not yet fully convinced of the truth 
of spiritism, it is easy to understand that Mme. Mir- 
bel was very anxious to believe in that consolatory 
doctrine, and ready to accept it, if only some proofs 
could be furnished her ; and what more convincing 
testimony could she ask or receive than that of a 
message .from her beloved child? Moreover, it was 
probably not without a secret hope of procuring a 
communication of this nature that she accepted the 
invitation which M. Lemaitre had sent her with the 
idea of procuring some moments of distraction for 
the unhappy mother As happens frequently in 
H^lfene's case, this first seance fully satisfied the 
desires of the sitters and surpassed their expectations. 
Speaking only of that which concerns Mme. Mirbel, 
Hel^ne had the vision, first, of a young man, in the 
very detailed description of whom there was no dif- 
ficulty in recognizing the deceased Alexis Mirbel; 
then of an old man whom the table called Raspail, 
brought by the young man that he might treat his 
mother's eyes, who thus Lad the double privilege of 
receiving through the table words of tenderness from 
her son, and from Raspail directions for the treat- 
ment of the affection of her eyes. Nothing in that 
seance recalled in any way the planet Mars, and it 
could not be foreseen from anything that occurred 
there that Alexis Mirbel, disincarnated, would return 
K I4S 


later under the name of Esenale as official interpreter 
of the Martian language. 

It was altogether different a month later (Novem- 
ber 25), at the second reunion at M. Lemaitre's, at 
which Mme. Mirbel was again present. On this oc- 
casion the astronomical dream appeared at once and 
dominated the entire seance. 

From the beginning, says the report of the se- 
ance. Mile. Smith perceived, in the distance and at 
a great height, a bright light. Then she felt a -tre- 
mor which almost caused her heart to cease beating, 
after which it seemed to her as though her head were 
empty and as if she were no longer in the body. She 
found herself in a dense fog, which changed suc- 
cessively from blue to a vivid rose color, to gray, and 
then to black : she is floating, she says ; and the 
table, supporting itself on one leg, seemed to express 
a very curious floating movement. Then she sees 
a star, growing larger, always larger, and becomes, 
finally, "as large as our house." Helhne feels that 
she is ascending ; then the table gives, by raps : 
" Lemaitre, that which you have so long desired !" 
Mile. Smith, who had been ill at ease, finds herself 
feeling better ; she distinguishes three enormous 
globes, one of them very beautiful. " On what am 
I walking ?" she asks. And the table replies : " On 
a world — Mars." H^lene then began a description of 
all the strange things which presented themselves 
to her view, and caused her as much surprise as 
amusement. Carriages without horses or wheels, 
emitting sparks as they glided by ; houses with 
fountains on the roof ; a cradle having for curtains 



an angel made of iron with outstretched wings, 
etc. What seemed less strange, were people ex- 
actly like the inhabitants of our earth, save that 
both sexes wore the same costume, formed of trousers 
very ample, and a long blouse, drawn tight about 
the waist and decorated with various designs. The 
child in the cradle was exactly like our children, 
according to the sketch which Hel^ne made from 
memory after the seance. 

Finally, she saw upon Mars a sort of vast assembly 
hall, in which was Professor Raspail, having in the 
first row of his hearers the young Alexis Mirbel, who, 
by a typtological dictation, reproached his mother 
for not having followed the medical prescription 
whi h he gave her a month previously : " Dear 
mamma, have you, then, so little confidence in us ? 
You have no idea how much pain you have caused 
me !" Then followed a conversation of a private 
nature between Mme. Mirbel and her son, the latter 
replying by means of the table ; then everything 
becomes quiet, the vision of Mars effaces itself little 
by little ; the table takes the same rotary movement 
on one foot which it had at the commencement of the 
seance; Mile. Smith finds herself again in the fogs 
and goes through the same process as before in an 
inverse order. Then she exclaims : "Ah I here I 
am back again I" and several loud raps on the table 
mark the end of the seance. 

I have related in its principal elements this first 
Martian seance, for the sake of its importance in dif- 
ferent respects. 

The initial series of coenaesthetic hallucinations, 



corresponding to a voyage from the earth to Mars, 
reflects well the childish character of an imagination 
which scientific problems or the exigenc es of logic 
trouble very little. Without doubt spiritism can ex- 
plain how the material difficulties of an interplan- 
etary journey may be avoided in a purely medium- 
istic, fluid connection ; but why, then, this persist- 
ence of physical sensations, trouble with the heart, 
tremor, floating sensation, etc. ? However it may 
be, this series of sensations is from this time on the 
customary prelude, and, as it were, the premoni- 
tory aura of the Martian dream, with certain modi- 
fications, throughout all the seances ; sometimes 
it is complicated with auditive hallucinations (rum- 
bling, noise of rushing water, etc.), or sometimes 
olfactory (disagreeable odors of burn ng, of sulphur, 
of a coming storm), oftener it tends to shorten and 
simplify itself, until it is either reduced to a brief 
feeling of malaise, or to the initial visual hallucina- 
tion of the light, generally very brilliant and red, 
in which the Martian visions usually appear. 

But the point to which I wish to call special at- 
tention is that singular speech of the table, on the 
instant at which Mile. Smith arrives on the dis- 
tant star, and before it is known what star is con- 
cerned : " Lemaitre, that which you have so much 
wished for I" This declaration, which may be con- 
sidered as a dedication, so to speak, inscribed on the 
frontispiece of the Martian romance, authorizes us 
in my opinion, in considering it and interpreting it 
in its origin, as a direct answer to a wish of M. 
Lemaitre, a desire which came at a recent period to 



Hdl^ne's knowledge, and which has enacted with 
her the initiatory role of her astronomical dream. 

It is true that M. Lemaitre himself did not under- 
stand at the moment to what this preliminary warn- 
ing referred, but the note which he inserted at the 
end of his report of that seance is instructive in this 
regard : " I do not know how to explain the first 
words dictated by the table : ' Lemaitre, that which 
you have so much wished fori' M. S. reminds me 
that in a conversation which I had with him last sum- 
mer I said to him : ' It would be very interesting to 
know what is happening upon other planets. ' If 
this is an answer to the wish of last year, very well." 

It must be added that M. S., who had been sufficient- 
ly struck by this wish of M. Lemaitre to remember it 
for several months, was, during all of the time re- 
ferred to, one of the most regular attendants upon 
the seances of Mile. Smith ; and, to one who knows 
by experience all that happens at the spiritistic re- 
unions, before, after, and during the seance itself, 
there could hardly be any doubt but that it was 
through M. S., as intermediary, that Mile. Smith 
had heard mentioned M. Lemaitre's regret at our 
relative ignorance of the inhabitants of other planets. 
This idea, probably caught on the wing during the 
state of suggestibility which accompanies the seances, 
returned with renewed force when Hel^ne was invited 
to hold a seance at the house of M. Lemaitre, and 
made more vivid also by the desire, which is always 
latent in her, of making the visions as interesting as 
possible to the persons among whom she finds herself. 
Such is, in my opinion, the seed which, falling into 



the ground and fertilized by former conversations con- 
cerning the inhabitants of Mars and the possibihty 
of spiritistic relations with them, has served as the 
germ of the romance, the further development of 
which it remains for me to trace. 

One point which still remains to be cleared up in 
the seance, as I come to sum up, is the singularly arti- 
ficial character and the slight connection between the 
Martian vision, properly so called, and the reappear- 
ance of Raspail and Alexis Mirbel. We do not alto- 
gether understand what these personages have to 
do with it. What need is there of their being to-day 
found on the planet Mars simply for the purpose of 
continuing their interview with Mme. Mirbel, begun 
at a previous seance, without the intervention of any 
planet ? The assembly-hall at which they are found, 
while it is located on Mars, is a bond of union all 
the more artificial between them and that planet in 
that there is nothing specifically Martian in its de- 
scription and appears to have been borrowed from 
our globe. This incident is at bottom a matter out 
of the regular course, full of interest undoubtedly for 
Mme. Mirbel, whom it directly concerns, but without 
intimate connection with the Martian world. It was 
evidently the astronomical revelation, intended for M. 
Lemaitre, and ripened by a period of incubation, which 
should have furnished the material for this seance : 
but the presence of Mme. Mirbel awoke anew the mem- 
ory of her son and of Raspail, which had occupied 
the preceding seance, and these memories, interfering 
with the Martian vision, become, for good or ill, in- 
corporated as a strange episode in it without having 



auy direct connection with it. The work of unifica- 
tion, of dramatization, by which these two unequal 
chains of ideas are harmonized and fused the one 
with the other through the intermediation of an as- 
sembly-hall, is no more or no less extraordinary than 
that which displays itself in all our nocturnal phan- 
tasmagoria, where certain absolutely heterogeneous 
memories often ally themselves after an unexpected 
fashion, and afford opportunity for confusions of the 
most bizarre character. 

But mediumistic communications differ from ordi- 
nary dreams in this — namely, the incoherence of the 
latter does not cause them to have any consequences. 
We are astonished and diverted for a moment as we 
reflect upon a dream. Sometimes a dream holds a 
little longer the attention of the psychologist, who 
endeavors to unravel the intricate plot of his dreams 
and to discover, amid the caprices of association or 
the events of the waking state, the origin of their 
tangled threads. But, on the whole, this incoher- 
ence has no influence on the ultimate course of our 
thoughts, because we see in our dreams only the 
results of chance, without value in themselves and 
without objective signification. 

It is otherwise with spiritistic communications, by 
reason of the importance and the credit accorded 

The medium who partially recollects her automa- 
tisms, or to whom the sitters have detailed them after 
the close of the seance, adding also their comments, 
becomes preoccupied with these mysterious revela- 
tions ; like the paranoiac, who perceives hidden mean- 


ings or a profound significance in the most trifling 
coincidences, she seeks to fathom the content of her 
strange visions, reflects on them, examines them in 
the light of spiritistic notions ; if she encounters dif- 
ficuhies in them, or contradictions, her conscious or 
unconscious thought (the two are not always in ac- 
cord) will undertake the task of removing them, and 
solving as well as possible the problems which these 
dream-creations, considered as realities, impose upon 
her, and the later somnambulisms will bear the im- 
print of this labor of interpretation or correction. 

It is to this point we have come at the commence- 
ment of the astronomical romance of Mile. Smith. 
The purely accidental and fortuitous . conjunction 
of the planet Mars and Alexis Mirbel in the seance 
of the 25th of November determined their definitive 
welding together. Association by fortuitous contig- 
uity is transformed into a logical connection. 

II. Later Development of the Martian 

This development was not effected in a regular 
manner ; but for the most part by leaps and bounds, 
separating stoppages more or less prolonged. After 
its inauguration in the seance of November 25, 1894, it 
suffered a first eclipse of nearly fifteen months, attrib- 
utable to new preoccupations which had installed 
themselves on the highest plane of Mile. Smith's 
subconsciousness and held that position throughout 
the whole of the year 1895. 

Compared with the seance of November, 1894, that 


of February, 1896 (of which a resume follows), shows 
interesting innovations. Raspail does not figure in 
it and henceforth does not appear again, which 
was probably due to the fact that Mme. Mirbel had 
failed to make use of the method of treatment which 
he had prescribed for her eyes. Young Mirbel, on 
the contrary, sole object of the desires and longings 
of his poor mother, occupies the highest plane, and is 
the central figure of the vision. He now speaks Mar- 
tian and no longer understands French, which com- 
plicates the conversation somewhat. Further, not 
possessing the power of moving tables upon our globe, 
it is through the intervention of the medium, by in- 
carnating himself momentarily in Mile. Smith, that 
he henceforth communicates with his mother. These 
two latter points in their turn cause certain difficulties 
to arise, which, acting as a ferment or a suggestion, 
will later usher in a new step in the progress of the 
romance : Alexis Mirbel cannot return to incarnate 
himself in a terrestrial medium if he is imprisoned 
in his Martian existence ; he must first terminate 
that and return to the condition in which he again 
floats in interplanetary space ; which "fluid" or wan- 
dering state permits him at the same time to give us 
the French translation of the Martian tongue ; since, 
according to spiritism, a complete memory of pre- 
vious existences, and consequently of the various 
languages pertaining to them, is temporarily re- 
covered during the phases of disincarnation. 

These anticipatory hints will assist the reader in 
following more easily the thread of the somnambuhs" 
tic romance in the r6sume of its principal stages, 



February 2, 1896. — I sum up, by enumerating 
them, the principal somnambulistic phases of this 
seance, which lasted more than two hours and a half, 
and at which Mme. Mirbel assisted. 

I. Increasing hemisomnambulism, with gradual 
loss of consciousness of the real environment — at the 
beginning the table bows several times to Mme. Mir- 
bel, announcing that the coming scene is intended 
for her. After a series of elementary visual hallu- 
cinations (rainbow colors, etc.), meaning for Mme. 
Mirbel that she would finally become blind, H61^ne 
arose, left the table, and held a long conversation with 
an imaginary woman who wished her to enter a cu- 
rious little car without wheels or horses. She became 
impatient towards this woman, who, after having at 
first spoken to her in French, now persisted in speak- 
ing in an unintelligible tongue, like Chinese. Leo- 
pold revealed to us by the little finger that it was the 
language of the planet Mars, that this woman is the 
mother of Alexis Mirbel, reincarnated on that planet, 
and that H61ene herself will speak Martian. Pres- 
ently H^l^ne begins to recite with increasing volu- 
bility an incomprehensible jargon, the beginning of 
which is as follows (according to notes taken by 
M. Lemaitre at the time, as accurately as possible) : 
"Mitchma mitchmon mimini tchouainem mimat- 
chineg masichinof mezavi patelki abresinad na- 
vette naven navette mitchichenid naken chinou- 
toufiche" . . . From this point the rapidity prevented 
the recognition of anything else, except such scraps 
as "t6ke. . . kat6chivist. . . mgguetch,*. , . or "me- 
ketch . , . ket6 . . . chim6ke." After a few minutes, 



H61tee interrupts herself, crying out, "Oh, I have had 
enough of it ; you say such words to me I will never 
be able to repeat them. " Then, with some reluctance, 
she consents to follow her interlocutrix into the car 
which was to carry her to Mars. 

2. The trance is now complete. H^l^ne thereupon 
mimics the voyage to Mars in three phases, the 
meaning of which is indicated by Leopold : a reg- 
ular rocking motion of the upper part of the body 
(passing through the terrestrial atmosphere), abso- 
lute immobility and rigidity (interplanetary space), 
again oscillations of the shoulders and the bust (at- 
mosphere of Mars) . Arrived upon Mars, she descends 
from the car, and performs a complicated pantomime 
expressing the manners of Martian politeness : un- 
couth gestures with the hands and fingers, slapping 
of the hands, taps of the fingers upon the nose, the 
lips, the chin, etc., twisted courtesies, glidings, and 
rotation on the floor, etc. It seems that is the way 
people approach and salute each other up there. 

3. This sort of dance having suggested to one of 
the sitters the idea of performing upon the piano, 
H61fene suddenly fell upon the floor in an evidently 
hypnotic state, whicli had no longer a Martian char- 
acter. At the cessation of the music she entered into 
a mixed state, in which the memory of the Martian 
visions continually mingle themselves with some idea 
of her terrestrial existence. She talks to herself. 
■' Those dreams are droll, all the same. ... I must 
tell that to M. Lemaitre. When he [the Martian 
Alexis Mirbel] said ' Good-day ' to me, he tapped 
himself upon the nose. ... He spoke to me in a 



queer language, but I understood it perfectly, all the 
same," etc. Seated on the ground, leaning against 
a piece of furniture, she continues, soliloquizing in 
French, in a low voice, to review the dream, min- 
gling with it some wandering reflections. She 
finds, for example, that the young Martian (Alexis) 
was a remarkably big boy for one only five or six 
years old, as he claimed to be, and that the woman 
seemed very young to be his mother. 

4. After a transitory phase of sighs and hiccoughs, 
followed by profound sleep with muscular relaxation, 
she enters into Martian somnambulism and mur- 
murs some confused words: "Kesin ouitidj6" . . . 
etc. I command her to speak French to me ; she 
seems to understand, and replies in Martian, with 
an irritated and imperious tone, I ask her to tell 
me her name ; she replies, " Vasimini Meteche." 
With the idea that, perhaps, she "is incarnating" 
the young Alexis, of whom she has spoken so much 
in the preceding phase, I urge Mme. Mirbel to ap- 
proach her, and thereupon begins a scene of incar- 
nation really very affecting ; Mme. Mirbel is on her 
knees, sobbing bitterly, in the presence of her re- 
covered son, who shows her marks of the most 
profound affection and caresses her hands " exactly 
as he was accustomed to do during his last illness," 
all the time carrying on a discourse in Martian 
(tin is toutch), which the poor mother cannot un- 
derstand, but to which an accent of extreme sweet- 
ness and a tender intonation impart an evident 
meaning of words of consolation and filial tender- 
ness. This pathetic duet lasted about ten minutes, 



and was brought to an end by a return to lethargic 
sleep, from which H61^ne awakened at the end of a 
quarter of an hour, pronouncing a short Martian 
word, after which she instantly recovered the use 
of her French and her normal waking state. 

5. Questioned as to what had passed, H61ene, 
while drinking tea, narrates the dream which she 
has had. She has a sufficiently clear memory of her 
journey and of what she has seen on Mars, with the 
exception of the young man, of whom she has re- 
tained only a recollection of the scene of incarna- 

But suddenly, in the midst of the conversation, 
she begins to speak in Martian, without appearing 
to be aware of it, and while continuing to chat with 
us in the most natural manner ; she appeared to 
understand all our words, and answered in her 
strange idiom, in the most normal tone, and seemed 
very much astonished when we told her that we did 
not understand her language ; she evidently be- 
lieves she is speaking French.* By questioning 
her concerning a visit which she had made a few 
days before to M. C, and asking her the number 
and the names of the persons whom she met there, 
we succeed in identifying the four following Martian 
words : Metiche S., Monsieur S. ; Medache C, Ma- 
dame C; Metaganiche Smith, Mademoiselle Smith, ■ 
kin't'che, four. After which she resumes defini- 
tively her French. Interrogated as to the incident 

* Compare the case of Mile. Anna O. Brener et Frend, Studien 
ilber Hysteric, p. 19. Vienna, 1895. 



which has transpired, she is astounded, has only 
a hesitating and confused memory of her having 
spoken at all this evening of her visit to M. C, and 
does not recognize nor understand the four Martian 
words given above when they are repeated to her. 
On several occasions during this seance I had made 
the suggestion to Helene that at a given signal, 
after her awaking, she would recover the memory 
of the Martian words pronounced by her and of their 
meaning. But Leopold, who was present, declared 
that this command would not be obeyed, and that 
a translation could not be obtained this evening. 
The signal, though often repeated, was, in fact, 
without result. 

It has seemed to me necessary to describe with 
some detail this seance, at which the Martian lan- 
guage made its first appearance, in order to place 
before the reader all the fragments which, we have 
been able to gather, without, of course, any guaran- 
tee of absolute accuracy, since every one knows how 
difficult it is to note the sounds of unknown words. 
A curious difference is to be noticed between the 
words picked up in the course of the seance and the 
four words several times repeated by H61fene, the 
meaning and pronunciation of which have been deter- 
mined with complete accuracy in the posthypnotic re- 
turn of the somnambulistic dream. Judged by these 
latter, the Martian language is only a puerile counter- 
feit of French, of which she preserves in each word a 
number of syllables and certain conspicuous letters. 
In the other phrases, on the contrary, also making 
use of later texts which have been translated, as 



we shall see hereafter, it cannot be discovered what 
it is. We are constrained to believe that these first 
outbreaks of Martian, characterized by a volubility 
which we have rarely met with since then, was only 
a pseudo-Martian, a continuation of sounds uttered 
at random and without any real meaning, analo- 
gous to the gibberish which children use sometimes 
in their games of " pretending " to speak Chinese 
or Indian, and that the real Martian was only cre- 
ated by an unskilful distortion of French, in a post- 
hypnotic access of hemisomnambulism, in order to 
respond to the manifest desire of the sitters to obtain 
the precise significance of some isolated Martian 

The impossibility, announced by Leopold, of pro- 
curing a translation that same evening of the pre- 
tended Martian spoken for the first time during that 
seance, and the fact that it could not again be ob- 
tained, give some support to the preceding theory. 

The circumstance that Helene, in remembering 
her dream in phase No. 3, had the sentiment of hav- 
ing ivell understood this unknown jargon, is not an 
objection, since the children who amuse themselves 
by simulating an uncouth idiom — to recur to that 
example — do not retain the least consciousness of the 
ideas which their gibberish is assumed to express. 
It seems, in short, that if this new language was 
already really established at that time in Helene's 
subliminal consciousness to the point of sustaining 
fluently discourses of several minutes' duration, 
some phrases at least would not have failed to gush 
forth, spontaneously sometimes, in the course of or- 



dinary life, and in order to throw light upon visions 
of Martian people or landscapes. More than sev^en 
months had to elapse before that phenomenon, which 
was so frequent afterwards, began to appear. 

May we not see in this half-year a period of in- 
cubation, employed in the subliminal fabrication of a 
language, properly so called — that is to say, formed 
of precise words and with a definite signification, in 
imitation of the four terms just referred to — to replace 
the disordered nonsense of the beginning ? 

However it may be, and to return to our story, 
one can imagine the interest which that sudden and 
unexpected apparition of mysterious speech aroused, 
and which the authority of Leopold would not allow 
to be taken for anything other than the language 
of Mars. The natural curioisity of H^fene herself, 
as well as that of her friends, to know more about 
our neighbors of other worlds and their way of ex- 
pressing themselves should naturally have contrib- 
uted to the development of the subliminal dream. 
The following seance, unhappily, did not justify 
the promise with which it began. 

February i6, 1896.—" At the beginning of this 
seance, Hel^ne has a vision of Alexis Mirbel, who 
announces, by means of the table, that he has not 
forgotten his French, and that he will give a trans- 
lation of the Martian words another day. But this 
prediction is not fulfilled. Whether H61^ne, for 
the reason that she is not feeling well to-day, or that 
the presence of some one antipathetic to her has hin- 
dered the production of the phenomena, the Martian 
somnambulism, which seemed on the point of break- 



ing forth, did not make its appearance. H61^ne 
remains in a crepuscular state, in which the feehng 
of present reahty and the Martian ideas on the level 
of consciousness interfere with and mutually obscure 
each other. She speaks in French with the sitters, 
but mingling with it here and there a strange word 
(such as meche, chinit, cheque, which, according 
to the context, seem to signify pencil, ring, paper), 
and appears far away from her actual surround- 
ings. She is astonished, in particular, at the sight 
of M. R. occupied in taking notes by the proces ver- 
bal, and seems to find that manner of writing with 
a pen or pencil strange and absurd, but without ex- 
plaining clearly how it was to be otherwise accom- 
plished. The importance of this seance is in the 
fact that the idea stands out clearly (which was not 
to be realized until a year and a half later) of a mode 
of handwriting peculiar to the planet Mars." 

This seance, which was almost a failure, was the 
last of that period. Hdfene's health, which became 
more and more impaired by standing too long on 
her feet and overwork at her desk, necessitated her 
taking a complete rest. I have mentioned the fact 
that during these six months, without any regular 
seances, she was subject to a superabundance of 
spontaneous visions and somnambulisms ; but these 
automatisms belonged to the Hindoo or other cycles, 
and I do not believe that she experienced during that 
time any phenomena which were clearly related to 
the Martian romance. On the other hand, as soon 
as she was re-established in and had returned to her 
normal mode of life, the latter appeared again with 
L i6i 


all the more intensity, dating from the following noc- 
turnal vision. (See Fig. 9.) 

September 5, 1896. — Hel^ne narrates that having 
arisen at a quarter-past three in the morning to take 
in some flowers that stood upon the window-sill and 
were threatened by the wind, instead of going back 
to bed immediately she sat down upon her bed and 
saw before her a landscape and some peculiar people. 
She was on the border of a beautiful blue-pink lake, 
with a bridge the sides of which were transparent 
and formed of yellow tubes like the pipes of an organ, 
of which one end seemed to be plunged into the water. 
The earth was peach-colored ; some of the trees had 
trunks widening as they ascended, while those of 
others were twisted. Later a crowd approached the 
bridge, in which one woman was especially prominent. 
The women wore hats which were flat, like plates. 
H^l^ne does not know who these people are, but has 
the feeling of having conversed with them. On the 
bridge there was a man of dark complexion (Astan6), 
carrying in his hands an instrument somewhat 
resembling a carriage-lantern in appearance, which, 
being pressed, emitted flames, and which seemed to 
be a flying-machine. By means of this instrument 
the man left the bridge, touched the surface of the 
water, and returned again to the bridge. This tableau 
lasted twenty-five minutes, since H^lfene, upon re- 
turning to consciousness, observed that her candle 
was still burning and ascertained that it was then 
3.40 o'clock. She is convinced that she did not fall 
asleep, but was wide awake during all of this vision. 
(See Figs. 10 and 11.) 



From that time the spontaneous Martian visions 
are repeated and multiphed. Mile. Smith experiences 
them usually in the morning, after awaking and be- 
fore rising from her bed : sometimes in the evening, 
or occasionally at other times during the day. It is in 
the course of these visual hallucinations that the Mar- 
tian language appears again under an auditive form. 

September 22, 1896. — ^ During these last days H6- 
Ifene has seen again on different occasions the Mar- 
tian man, with or without his flying-machine ; for 
example, he appeared to her while she was taking a 
bath, at the edge of the bath-tub. She has had sev- 
eral times visions of a strange house the picture of 
w^hich followed her with so much persistency that 
she finally painted it (see Fig. 12). At the same 
time she heard on three different occasions a sentence 
the meaning of which she does not know, but which 
she was able to take down with her pencil as follows : 
" Dode ne ci haudan te meche metiche Astane ke 
de m6 v6che." (As was ascertained six weeks after, 
by the translation given in the seance of the 2d of 
November, this phrase indicates that the strange 
house is that of the Martian man, who is called 

This phrase was undoubtedly Martian, but what 
was the meaning of it ? After having hoped in vain 
for nearly a month that the meaning would be re- 
vealed in some way or other, I decided to try a dis- 
guised suggestion. I wrote to Leopold himself a 
letter, in which I appealed to his omniscience as well 
as to his kindness to give me some enlightenment 
in regard to the strange language which piqued our 



curiosity, and, in particular, as to the meaning of the 
phrase H61ene had heard. I asked him to answer me 
in writing, by means of H^l^ne's hand. We did not 
have to wait long for a reply. H61^ne received my 
letter the 20th of October, and on the evening of the 
22d, seized with a vague desire to write, she took a 
pencil, which placed itself in the regular position, 
between the thumb and the index -finger (whereas 
she always held her pen between the middle and in- 
dex-finger), and traced rapidly, in the characteristic 
handwriting of Leopold and with his signature, a 
beautiful epistle of eighteen Alexandrine lines ad- 
dressed to me, of which the ten last are as follows, 
being an answer to my request that the secrets of 
Martian be revealed to me : 

"Ne crois pas qu'en t'aimant r.omme un bien tendre fr^re 
Je te diroi des cieux tout le profond mystere ; 
Je t'aideroi beaucoup, je t'ouvriroi la voie, 
Mais a toi de saisir et chercher avec joie; 
Et quand tu la verras d'ici-bas d6tachee, 
Quand son &me mobile aura pris la vol6e 
Et planera sur Mars aux superbes couleurs ; 
Si tu veux obtenir d'elle quelques lueurs, 
Pose bien doucement, ta main sur son front pale 
Et prononce bien bas le doux nom d'Esenale!"* 

'^ " Do not think that in loving you as a tender brother 
I shall tell you all the profound mysteries of heaven ; 
X shall help you much, I shall open for you the way, 
But It is for you to seize and seek with joy ; 
And when you shall see her released from here below. 
When her mobile soul shall have taken flight 
And shall soar over Mars with its brilliant tints ; 
If you would obtain from her some light. 
Place your hand very gently on her pale forehead 
And pronounce very softly the sweet name of Esenale !" 


I have been very sensible to the pledges of fraternal 
affection that Leopold has accorded me, but this 
time I was especially moved, and although the very 
uncommon name of Esenale meant absolutely noth- 
ing to me, I took care not to forget the singular rule 
which had been furnished me. At the following 
seance an opportunity for using it presented itself, 
and Leopold went so far as to direct himself the ap- 
plication of his method by giving us his instructions, 
sometimes with one finger, sometimes with another, 
during H^l^ne's Martian trance. 

Monday, November 2, 1896. — After various char- 
acteristic symptoms of the departure for Mars (verti- 
go, affection of the heart, etc.), lielene went in a deep 
sleep. I had recourse to the prescribed method, but 
Leopold, by the fingers of the right hand, indicated 
that the proper moment had not yet arrived, and said : 
" When the soul shall again have regained posses- 
sion of itself thou shalt execute mj^ order ; she will 
then describe to you, while still asleep, that which 
she shall have seen on Mars." Shortly after he 
adds, "Make her sit down in an easy -chair" (in- 
stead of the uncomfortable one which she had taken, 
as was her wont) ; then, as her peaceful sleep still 
continued, he informs us again that she is en route 
towards Mars ; that once arrived up there she under- 
stands the Martian spoken around her, although 
she has never learned it ; that it is not he, Leopold, 
who will translate the Martian for us — not because 
he does not wish to do so, but because he cannot ; 
that this translation is the performance of Esenale, 
who is actually disincarnate in space, but who has 



recently lived upon Mars, and also upon the earth, 
which permits him to act as interpreter, etc. 

After half an hour of waiting, H61fene's calm sleep 
gave way to agitation, and she passed into another 
form of somnambulism, with sighs, rhythmic movements 
of the head and hands, then grotesque Martian gest- 
ures and French words murmured softly to the hear- 
ing of Leopold, who seems to accompany her on Mars, 
and to whom she confides some of her impressions in 
regard to that which she perceives. In the midst of 
this soliloquy a vertical movement of the arm, peculiar 
to Leopold, indicates that the moment has arrived for 
carrying out his directions. I place my hand on 
H61^ne's forehead, and utter the name of Esenale, 
to which H61^ne replies in a soft, feeble, somewhat 
melancholy, voice : " Esenale has gone away . . . 
he has left me alone . . . but he will return, . . . 
he will soon return. ... He has taken me by the 
hand and made me enter the house [that which she 
saw in her vision, and of which she made the drawing 
a month ago — see Fig. 12]. ... I do not know where 
Esenale is leading me, but he has said to me, ' Dode 
ne ci haudan te meche metiche Astane kg d€ mg 
veche,' but I did not understand ; . . . dode, this ; 
ne, is ; ci, the ; haudan, house ; te, of the ; meche, 
great ; mgtiche, man ; Astane, Astane ; ke, whom ; 
de, thou ; me, hast ; v6che, seen. . . . This is the 
house of the great man Astan6, whom thou hast 
seen. . . . Esenale has told me that. . . . Esenale 
has gone away. ... He will return ... he will 
soon return ... he will teach me to speak . . . 
and Astan6 wiU teach me to write." 



I have abridged this long monologue, constantly 
interrupted by silences, and the continuation of which 
I only obtained by having constant recourse to the 
name of Esenale as the magic word, alone capable of 
extracting each time a few words from Helene's con- 
fused brain. After the last sentence or phrase, in which 
one can see a categorical prediction of the Martian 
writing, her weak, slow voice was finally hushed, and 
Leopold directs by means of his left middle finger the 
removal of the hand from the forehead. Then follow 
the customary alternations of lethargic sleep, sighs, 
catalepsy, momentary relapses into somnambulism, 
etc. Then she opens her eyes permanently, very 
much surprised to find herself in the easy-chair. Her 
brain is greatly confused. " It seems to me as though 
I had a great many things on my mind, but I cannot 
fix upon anything." By degrees she regains a clear 
consciousness, but of the entire seance, which has 
lasted an hour and a half, there only remain some 
fragments of Martian visions and no recollection 
whatever of the scene with Esenale and that of the 

This process of translation, the first application of 
which is here presented, becomes from this time the 
standard method. 

For more than two years and a half, the imposition 
of the hand upon Helene's forehead and the uttering 
of the name of Esenale at the proper moment during 
the trance constitute the " open sesame " o± the Mar- 
tian-French dictionary buried in the subliminal strata 
of H^lfene's consciousness. The idea of this cere- 
monial is evidently to awaken by suggestion — in a 



certain favorable somnambulistic phase, which Leo- 
pold recognizes and himself announces by a gesture 
of the arm — the secondary personality which has 
amused itself by composing the phrases of this extra- 
terrestrial language. 

In spiritistic terms, it amounts to invoking the 
disincarnate Esenale, otherwise called Alexis Mir- 
bel, who, having lived on both planets, can easily 
devote himself to the functions of an interpreter. 

The only difference between this scene of trans- 
lation and other seances is in the ease and rapidity 
with which it is performed. Esenale seems some- 
times to be thoroughly asleep and difficult to awaken; 
H616ne persists in replying by the stereotyped refrain, 
and incessantly repeats, in her soft and melancholy 
voice, " Esenale has gone away — he will soon re- 
turn — he has gone away — he will soon return." 
Then some more energetic passes or friction on the 
forehead are necessary, instead of the simple press- 
ure of the hand, in order to break up this mechan- 
ical repetition, which threatens to go on forever, and 
in order to obtain, finally, the repetition and trans- 
lation, word by word, of the Martian texts. Other- 
wise the voice continues identical with that of the re- 
frain, soft and feeble, and one can never know wheth- 
er it is Esenale himself who is making use of He- 
Ifene's phonetic apparatus without modifying it, 
or whether it is she herself, repeating in her sleep 
what Esenale has told her ; the categorical dis- 
tinctness and absence of all hesitation in pronun- 
ciation of the Martian are in favor of the former sup- 
position, which is also corroborated by the fact that 

1 6a 



fig 1^,. Martian landscape. Creenish-yelKiw skv. A man with a yellow com- 
plexion, dressed in wliite, in a boat of brown, yellow, black, and red colors on a 
blue-green lake; rose-tinted rock, with white and yellow spots ; dark green vege- 
tation ; buildings of brown, red, and rose-lilac tints, with white window-panes and 
curtains of briglu blue. 


it was also in this same voice that Alexis Mirbel 
(Esenale) spoke to his mother in the scenes of in- 
carnation. (See Fig. 13.) 

It would be wearisome to recount in detail all the 
further manifestations of the Martian cycle, which 
occur frequently in numerous seances and also un- 
der the form of spontaneous visions in the daily life 
of Mile. Smith. The reader can gain an idea of 
them both from the remarks of the following para- 
graph, as well as from the explanatory resumes 
added to the Martian texts, which will be collected 
in the following chapter. It merely remains for 
me to say a word here as to the manner in which the 
pictures of Helfene relative to Mars, and reproduced 
in autotype in the Figs. 9 to 20, have been made. 

None of these pictures has been executed in com- 
plete somnambulism, and they have not, consequent- 
ly, like the drawings of certain mediums, the interest 
of a graphic product, absolutely automatic, engendered 
outside of and unknown to the ordinary conscious- 
ness. They are nothing more than simple com- 
positions of the normal consciousness of Mile. Smith. 
They represent a type of intermediary activity, and 
correspond to a state of hemisomnambulism. We 
have seen above (p. 20) that already in her child- 
hood H61^ne seems to have executed various pieces 
of work in a semi-automatic manner. The same 
performance is often reproduced on the occasion 
of the Martian visions, which sometimes pursue her 
so persistently that she decides to execute them with 
pencil and brush ; work which, in anticipation, 
often frightens her by its difficulty, but which, when 



the time comes, accomplishes itself, to her great as- 
tonishment, with an ease and perfection almost me- 
chanical. Here is an example : 

One Tuesday evening, having already retired, 
H61fene saw on her bed some magnificent flowers, 
very different from ours, but without perfume, and 
which she did not touch, for during her visions she 
has no idea of moving, and remains inert and pas- 
sive. The afternoon of the following day, at her 
desk, she found herself enveloped in a red light, and 
at the same time felt an indefinable but violent af- 
fection of the heart (aura of the voyage to Mars). 
"The red light continues about me, and I find my- 
self surrounded by extraordinary flowers of the kind 
which I saw on my bed, but they had no perfume. 
I will bring you some sketches of them on Sunday." 
She sent them to me, in fact, on Monday, with the 
following note : " I am very well satisfied with my 
plants. They are the exact reproduction of those 
which it afforded me so much pleasure to behold 
[No. 3, in Fig. i6, which, beforehand, Hel^ne de- 
spaired of being able to render well], which ap- 
peared to me on the latter occasion, and I greatly 
regret that you were not here to see me execute the 
drawing ; the pencil glided so quickly that I did not 
have time to notice what contours it was making. 
I can assert without any exaggeration that it was 
not my hand alone that made the drawing, but that 
truly an invisible force guided the pencil in spite of 
me. The various tints appeared to me upon the 
paper, and my brush was directed in spite of me tow- 
ards the color which I ought to use. This seems in- 




Fig 9. Martian landscape. Pink bridge, with yellow railings plunging down into a 
pale-blue and purple-tinted lake The shores and hills of a red color, no green being 

visible. All the trees are of a brick-red, purple, or violet tint- IFrom the collection 
of M Lemaitre ] 

Fig, 15 Light-hrown and yellow trunk and leaves; double-lobed flowers of a vivid 
red, out of which proceed yellow stamens Hke black threads Fig. 16. Large 
leaves, light yellowish brown, flowers with purple petals with black stamens and 
black stems covered with little purple leaves like petals. Fig. 17- Large violet 
fruit with black spots, surmounted by a yellow and violet plume. The trunk of 
brown color with black veins, with six branches of the same character ending in 
a yellow hook. Red-brick soil. 


etedible, but it is, notwithstanding, the exact truth. 
The whole was done so quickly that I marvelled 
at it." 

The house of Astane (Fig. 12), and the extensive 
landscapes of Figs. 13 and 14, are also the prod- 
ucts of a quasi-automatic activity, which always 
gives great satisfaction to Mile. Smith. It is, in a 
way, her subliminal self which holds the brush and 
executes, at its pleasure, its own tableaux, which also 
have the value of veritable originals. Other draw- 
ings, on the contrary (for example, the portrait of 
Astan6, Fig. 11), which have given Helena much 
trouble without having satisfied her very well, should 
be regarded as simple copies from memory, by the 
ordinary personality, of past visions, the memory of 
which is graven upon her mind in a manner suffi- 
ciently persistent to serve as a model several days 
afterwards. In both cases, but especially in the first, 
H61&ne's paintings may be considered as faithful re- 
productions of the tableaux which unfold themselves 
before her, and consequently give us better than most 
verbal descriptions an idea of the general character 
of her Martian visions. 

Let us see now what kind of information the mes- 
sages and somnambulisms of B.6\hne furnish us in 
regard to the brilliant planet whose complicated 
revolutions formerly revealed to a Kepler the funda- 
mental secrets of modern astronomy. 



III. The Personages of the Martian 

In using the word "romance" to designate the Mar- 
tian communications, taken as a whole, I wish to 
state that they are, to my mind, a work of pure im- 
agination, but not that there are to be found in them 
characteristics of unity and of internal co-ordination, 
of sustained action, of increasing interest to the final 
denouement. The Martian romance is only a succes- 
sion of detached scenes and tableaux, without order 
or intimate connection, and showing no other com- 
mon traits beyond the upknown language spoken in 
it, the quite frequent presence of the same personages, 
and a certain fashion of originality, a color or quality 
badly defined as " exotic " or " bizarre " in the land- 
scapes, the edifices, the costumes, etc. 

Of a consecutive plot or intrigue, properly so called, 
there is no trace. I naturally speak only of that 
which we have learned from the seances of Mile. 
Smith, or from the spontaneous visions which she 
recollects sufficiently to narrate afterwards. But 
this fails to shadow forth the hidden source whence 
they all spring. 

Without determining the question, I am inclined, 
nevertheless, to accord to the Martian romance, in 
some profound stratum of Hdl^ne's being, a much 
greater continuity and extent than would appear 
from judging it solely by the fragments known to 
us. We have only, in my opinion, a few pages, taken 
at hazard from different chapters; the bulk of the 



volume is wanting, and the little we possess does not 
enable us to reconstruct it in a satisfactory manner. 
We must, therefore, be content with sorting this debris 
of unequal importance, according to their content, in- 
dependently of their chronological order, and group- 
ing them around the principal personages which 
figure in them. 

The anonymous and mixed crowd which forms 
the base of some of the Martian visions only differs 
from that of our own country by the large robe com- 
mon to both sexes, the flat hats, and the sandals 
bound to the feet by straps. The interest is confined 
to a small number of more distinct personages hav- 
ing each his own name, always terminating in an 
e with the men and in an i with the women, except 
only in the case of Esenale, who occupies, however, 
a place by himself in his quality of disincarnated 
Martian, fulfilling the function of interpreter. Let 
us begin by saying a few words about him. 


We have seen (p. 164) that this name was hinted 
at by Leopold on the 22A. of October, 1896, without 
any other explanation as a means of obtaining the 
signification of the Martian words. Then at the 
first recurrence to this talisman (November 2d, see p. 
166) we learn only that he was a deceased inhabitant 
of Mars, whose acquaintance Leopold had recently 
made in interplanetary space. It was only at the 
following seance (November 8th), where we find Mme. 
Mirbel, that, after an incarnation of her son Alexis, 
followed by the scene of translation (see text 3) and 



in response to questions of the sitters — which an- 
swered very well the purpose of suggestion — Leo- 
pold affirmed by the left index-finger that Esenale 
was Alexis Mirbel. It cannot be determined wheth- 
er that identification constituted a primitive fact 
which it pleased Leopold to keep secret, only reveal- 
ing it at the end of a seance at which Mme. Mirbel 
was present, or whether, as I am inclined to regard 
it, it was only established at that same seance, un- 
der the domination of the circumstances of the mo- 
ment. As a translator of Martian, Esenale did not 
show great talent. He had to be entreated, and it 
was necessary often to repeat his name while press- 
ing or rubbing H61^ne's forehead, in order to ob- 
tain the exact meaning of the last texts which had 
been given. He possessed, it is true, an excellent 
memory, and faithfully reproduced, before giving 
it word by word, the French for the Martian phrases 
which H61^ne had heard several weeks before and only 
seen again five or six months afterwards (text 24), 
and of which there had been no previous opportu- 
nity to obtain a translation. But it was to these lat- 
ter texts, not yet interpreted, that he confined his 
willingness ; on two occasions only did he add, of 
his own accord, some words of no importance (texts 
15 and 36. Text No. 19, for instance, has always 
remained untranslated, and my later efforts (June 
4, 1899) to obtain the meaning of the unknown 
words mil6 piri have been in vain ; moreover, Ese- 
nale has not been able to fill up the gaps in text 
No. 24. 
Alexis Mirbel, after the two first Martian seances, 


reported on pp. 146 and 154, called Esenale, often 
accorded his mother, in scenes of incarnation, 
somewhat pathetic, touching messages of filial ten- 
derness and consolation (texts 3, 4, 11, 15, and 18). 
It is to be noted that, although opportunities for con- 
tinuing this role were not wanting, he appears to 
have completely abandoned it for the last two years. 
His last message of this kind (October 10, 1897, text 
18) followed a month after a curious seance in which 
Leopold sought to explain to us spontaneously — 
no one had mentioned the subject — certain flagrant 
contradictions in the first manifestations of Alexis- 
Esenale. Here is a resume of that scene, with the 
text of Leopold's communication : 

September 12, 1897. — After sundry waking vi- 
sions, Mile. Smith hears Leopold speaking ; her eyes 
are closed, and, appearing to be asleep, she repeats, 
mechanically and in a slow and feeble voice, the 
following words, which her guide addresses to her : 
" Thou art going to pay close attention. Tell 
them now [the sitters] to keep as quiet as possible, 
that is what often mars the phenomena, the com- 
ings and goings, and the idle chatter of which you 
are never weary. You recollect there was, several 
months ago, a young man, that young man Alexis 
Mirbel, who came to give counsel to his mother at 
a reunion you held with M. (I do not understand 
the name he gave) ... at Carouge* . . Well, 
at that moment he happened — that is to say, two 
days before — to die on ... (I could not under- 

* Allusion to the seance oi November 25, 1894, at M. Le- 
maltre's. See p. 146. 



stand the name) . . . where he had been . . . 
or he had regained hfe.* This is why I have come to 
tell you to-day he was in that phase of separation of 
the material part from the soul which permitted him 
to recollect his previous existence — that is to say, 
his life here below in this state ; he not only recol- 
lects his first mother, but can speak once more the 
language he used to speak with her. Some time af- 
ter, when the soul was finally at rest, he no longer 
recollected that first language ; he returns, he hovers 
about (his mother), sees her with joy, but is incapa- 
ble of speaking to her in your language, t Whether 
it will return to him I do not know and cannot say, 
but I believe that it will. And now listen." Here 
Mile. Smith seems to awake, opens her eyes, and 
has a long Martian vision, which she describes in 
detail. She now sees a little girl in a yellow robe, 
whose name she hears as Anini Nikaine, occupied 
with various childish games — e. g., with a small wand 
she makes a number of grotesque little figures dance 
in a white tub, large and shallow, full of sky-blue 
water. Then come other persons, and, finally, As- 
tan6, who has a pen in his fingers, and, little by lit- 
tle, takes hold of Hel^ne's arm and throws her into 
a deep trance for the purpose of causing her to write 
text No. 17. 

These spontaneous explanations of Leopold are 
interesting in that they betray clearly the sublimi- 
nal desire to introduce some order and logic into the 

* That is to say, he died on Mars, where he had been rein- 
f Allusion to seance of February 2, 1896. See p. 154. 


incoherences of the mediumistic reveries. It is a 
form of the process of justification and retrospective 
interpretation intended to make the incidents of the 
past accord with the dominant ideas of the present 
(see p. 95). In appearance, the theory upon which 
Leopold rested, after having doubtless meditated 
long, is quite awkward ; but perhaps it was difficult 
for him to do better, since no one can accomplish the 


" The great man Astane" is the reincarnation on 
Mars of the Hindoo fakir Kanga, who was a devoted 
companion and friend of Simandini. He has pre- 
served in his new existence the special character of 
savant or of sorcerer, which he formerly possessed 
in India, and he has equally retained all his affec- 
tion for his princess of old, who has been restored to 
him in Mile. Smith ; he frequently utilizes his magic 
powers to evoke her — that is to say, to re-enter into 
spiritual communication with her, notwithstanding 
the distances between their actual places of habita- 
tion. The ways and means of that evocation re- 
main, however, enveloped in mystery. We cannot 
say whether it was Helene that rejoined Astan6 on 
Mars during her somnambulism, or whether it was 
he who descended " fluidly " towards her and brought 
to her the odors of the far-distant planet. 

When Astan6 says to H61^ne, during a seance : 

" Come to me an instant. Come and admire these 

flowers," etc. (text 8), or shows her the curiosities of 

his Martian abode, it seems as though he had really 

M 177 


called her to him through space ; but when he ap- 
pears to her, while awake, at the edge of her bath- 
tub, and expresses his chagrin at finding her still 
on this miserable earth (text ^), it must be admitted 
that it is he who has descended to her and inspires 
her with these visions of an upper world. It is of 
no importance, on the whole. It is here to be noted 
that, in these evocations, Astan6 only manifests him- 
self in visual and auditive hallucinations, never in 
tactile impressions or those of general sensibility ; in 
the sphere of emotion his presence is accompanied 
by a great calm on the part of Hel^ne, a profound 
bliss, and an ecstatic disposition, which is the cor- 
relative and pendant of the happiness experienced by 
Astan6 himself (texts lO, 17, etc.) at finding him- 
self in the presence of his idol of the past. The so- 
cial state of Astan^ — I should rather say his name, 
his quality of sorcerer, and his previous terrestrial 
existence in the body of Kanga — was not immediate- 
ly revealed. 

Nevertheless, at his first apparition (September 5, 
1896, see p. 162), he rises superior to the crowd, inas- 
much as he alone possesses a flying-machine incom- 
prehensible to us. In the following weeks Mile. Smith 
hears his name, and sees him again on many occa- 
sions, as well as his house (Fig. 12), but it is only at 
the end of two months and a half that his identity and 
his "evocative" powers become known, at a seance 
at which I was not present, and during which H61^ne 
did not, contrary to her usual custom, fall completely 
asleep. The following is a r6sum4 of the notes, which 
I owe to the kindness of M. Cuendet : 



November 19, 1896. — Contrary to the experience 
of the preceding seances. Mile. Smith remained con- 
stantly awake, her arms free on the table, conversing 
and even laughing all the while with the sitters. The 
messages were obtained by means of visions and 
typtological dictations. H61fene having asked Leo- 
pold how it happens that she had been able to com- 
municate with a being living on Mars, she has a vision 
in which Astan6 appears to her in a costume more 
Oriental than Martian. " Where have I seen that 
costume?" asks she; and the table replies,"/^ India," 
which indicates that Astan6 is an ex-Hindoo reincar- 
nated on Mars. At the same time Helene has a 
vision of an Oriental landscape which she believes 
she has already seen before, but without knowing 
where. She sees Astan6 there, carrying under his 
arm rolls of paper of a dirty white color, and bowing 
in Oriental fashion before a woman, also clothed in 
Oriental garments, whom she also believes she has 
seen before. These personages appear to her to be 
" inanimate, hke statues." The sitters ask whether 
the vision was not a simple tableau (of the past) pre- 
sented by Leopold; the table replies in the affirmative, 
then inchnes itself significantly towards Mile. Smith, 
when some one asked who that Oriental woman might 
be, and the idea is put forth that possibly she repre- 
sents Simandini. Finally, to further questions of 
the sitters, the table (Leopold) dictates again that 
Astan6 in his Hindoo existence was called Kanga, 
who was a "sorcerer of the period"; then that "Astane 
on the planet Mars possesses the same faculty of evoca- 
tion which he had possessed in India." Leopold is then 



asked if the power of Astan6 is greater than his. "A 
different power, of equal strength," replies the table. 
Finally, Hdfene desiring to know whether Astan6 
when he evokes her sees her in her real character or 
that of her Hindoo incarnation, the table af&rms that 
he sees her in her Hindoo character, and adds : " and, 
in consequence, under those characteristics which she 
[Hilene] possesses to-day and which are in such strik- 
ing harmony with those of SimaNdini," insisting on 
the N in the middle of the name. 

It is to be remarked that at this sitting it was Leo- 
pold who gave all the information in regard to the 
past of Astan6, and that he recognizes in him a power 
over H^lene almost equal to his own. It is strange 
that the accredited guide of Mile. Smith, ordinarily 
so jealous of his rights over her and ready to take 
offence at all rival pretensions, so freely accords such 
prerogatives to Astan^. This unexpected mildness 
is still more surprising when the singular similarity 
of position of these two personages in regard to Helene 
is considered. Kanga, the Hindoo fakir, holds in 
the life of Simandini exactly the same place as Cag- 
liostro in the life of Marie Antoinette, the place of a 
sorcerer giving beneficial counsel, and at the same 
time of a platonic adorer, and both of them in their 
actual roles of Astan6 and of Leopold preserve for 
Mile. Smith the respectful attachment which they had 
for her illustrious former existences. How is it these 
two extra-terrestrial pretenders do not hate each other 
the more cordially since their rival claims uponH61^ne 
have identical foundations ? But, far from in the 
least disputing her possession, they assist each other 

1 80 


in the most touching fashion. When Astan6 writes 
in Martian by Mile. Smith's right hand that the 
noise of the sitters threatens to make him insane (see 
text 20) it is Leopold who comes to his rescue in mak- 
ing them keep silent by his gestures with the left arm. 
When Leopold indicates to me that the moment for 
pressing H^lene's forehead has arrived, it is Astan6 
who lends him his pencil in order that the message 
may be written (see below, seance of September 12, 
1897, and Fig. 23), and the exchange of powers takes 
place between them without the medium experiencing 
the least shock, and without its betraying itself out- 
wardly otherwise than by the difference of their hand- 
writing. It is true that Leopold's apparitions to 
Hel^ne are infinitely more frequent and his incarna- 
tions much more complete than those of Astan6, who 
shows himself to her at increasing intervals, and has 
never attained to speaking by her mouth. It makes 
no difference : these two personages resemble each 
other too much for mutual toleration — if they are 
really two. 

My conclusion presses. Astane is, at bottom, 
only a copy, a double, a transposition in the Hindoo- 
Martian manner of Leopold. They are two varia- 
tions of one primitive theme. In regarding these 
two beings, as I do, in the absence of proof to the 
contrary, not as real and objective individualities, 
but as pseudo-personalities, dream fictions, fantas- 
tic subdivisions of the hypnoid consciousness of 
Mile. Smith, it may be said that it is the same funda- 
mental emotion which has inspired these twin roles, 
the details of which have been adapted by the subli- 


minal imagination to correspond to the diversity of 
the circumstances. The contradiction painfully felt 
between the proud aspirations of the grande dame 
and the vexing ironies of reality has caused the two 
tragic previous existences to gush forth — intrinsical- 
ly identical, in spite of the differences of place and 
epoch — of the noble girl of Arabia, having become 
Hindoo princess, burned alive on the tomb of her 
despot of a husband, and of her Austrian highness, 
having become Queen of France and sharing the 
martyrdom of her spouse. 

On parallel lines, in these two dreams issuing from 
the same emotional source, it is the universal and 
constant taste of the human imagination for the 
marvellous, allied to the very feminine need of a re- 
spectful and slightly idolatrous protector, which on 
the one side has created out of whole cloth the per- 
sonage of Kanga-Astan6, and on the other hand 
has absorbed, without being careful in modifying 
authentic history, that of Cagliostro-Leopold. Both 
are idealistic sorcerers, of profound sagacity, ten- 
der-hearted, who have placed their great wisdom at 
the service of the unfortunate sovereign and made 
for her, of their devotion, amounting almost to ado- 
ration, a tower of strength, a supreme consolation in 
the midst of all the bitternesses of real life. And as 
Leopold acts as guide for Helfene Smith in the gen- 
eral course of her actual earthly existence, so Astan6 
seemingly plays the same role in the moments of 
that life in which H61^ne leaves our sublunar world 
to fly away to the orb of Mars. 

If, then, Astand is only a reflection, a projection 


Fig. T2 House of Astan^. Blue sky; soil, mountains, and walls of a red color. 
The two plants, witli twisted trunks, have purple leaves : tlie others have long 
green lower leaves and small purple higher leaves. The frame-work of the doors, 
windows, and decorations are in the shape of trumpets, and are of a brownish-red 
color. White glass (?) and curtains or shades of a turquoise-blue The railings of 
the roof are yellow, with blue tips. 

Fig 14 Martian landscape. Skv of vellow ; 51 een lake; gray shores bordered by a 
brown fence; bell-towevs on the shore, in vellow-brovvn tones, with corners and pin- 
nacles ornamented with pink and blue balls ; hill of red rocks, with vegetation of 
a rather dark green interspersed with rose, purple, and white spots (flowers); 
buildings at the base constructed of brick -red lattice - work ; edges and corners 
terminating in brown-red trumpets; immense "hite window-panes, with turquoise- 
blue curtains ; roofs furnished with yellnw-brown bell-turrets, brick-red battle- 
ments, or with green and red plants (like those of Astani^'s house, Fig. 12). Per- 
sons with large white hend-dresses and red or brown robes. 


of Leopold in the Martian sphere, he has there as- 
sumed a special coloring, and has outwardly har- 
monized himself with this new situation. 

He is clothed in a voluminous, embroidered robe ; 
he has long hair, no beard, a yellow complexion, 
and carries in his hand a white roll, on which he 
writes with a point fastened to the end of the index- 

His house (Fig. 12) is quadrangular, with gates 
and windows, and reminds one by its exterior aspect 
of some Oriental structure, with a flat roof embel- 
lished with plants. 

The inside is also appropriate. The furniture re- 
calls ours by force of contrast. We have few details; 
with the exception of a musical instrument with ver- 
tical cylinders, closely related to our organs, upon 
which Helene sometimes sees and hears Astan6 play- 
ing, seated on a stool with one foot, resembling a 

When we pass to the garden the same amalgam 
of analogies and unlikenesses to our flora are dis- 
covered. We have seen that Helene has been often 
haunted in the waking state by visions of Martian 
plants and flowers, which she finally draws or paints 
with a facility approaching automatism ; these 
specimens, as also the trees scattered over the land- 
scapes, show that Martian vegetation does not dif- 
fer essentially from ours. Of the animals we do not 
know much. Astane has often with him an ugly 
beast, which caused H61^ne much fright on account 
of its grotesque form — about two feet long, with a 
flat tail ; it has the "head of a cabbage," with a big 



green eye in the middle (like the eye of a peacock 
feather), and five or six pairs of paws, or ears all 
about (see Fig. i8). This animal unites the intelli- 
gence of the dog with the stupidity of the par- 
rot, since on the one hand it obeys Astan6 and 
fetches objects at his command (we do not know 
how), while, on the other hand, it knows how to 
write, but in a manner purely mechanical. (We 
have never had a specimen of this handwriting). 
(See Fig. i8.) 

In fact, as to other animals, beyond the little black 
bird cited, without description (text 20), and a spe- 
cies of female deer for the purpose of nursing in- 
fants (text 36), H61^ne saw only horrid aquatic 
beasts like big snails, which Astan6 caught by 
means of iron nets stretched over the surface of the 

Astan6's property is enclosed by large red stones, 
on the border of the water, where H616ne loves to re- 
tire with her guide to converse in peace and to recall 
to mind with him the ancient and melancholy mem- 
ories of their Hindoo existence ; the general tone of 
these conversations is entirely the same as that of 
her conversations with Leopold. 

There is a mountain also of red rocks, where As- 
tan6 possesses some excavated dwelling-places, a 
kind of grotto appropriate to the sorcerer - savant 
which he is. 

The corpse of Esenale, admirably preserved, is also 
to be seen there, among other things, about which 
the disincarnate Esenale sometimes floats in " fluid " 
form, and which H61fene still finds soft to the touch, 


Fig. i8. Astane's ugly beast. The body and tail are rose-colored; the 
eye is green with a black centre; the head is blackish; the lateral ap- 
pendices are brownish-yellow, covered, like the whole body, with pink 

„ T^-^^'^ 



Fig. II Fit! 19 

Fig. ir, Astan^, Yellow complexion, brown hair; brown sandals; roll 
of white paper in his hand ; variegated costume, or red and white ; brick- 
red belt and border. Fig. 19. Martian lamp, standing against a rose and 
blue-colored tapestry. 


when, after much hesitation, and not without fright, 
she gained courage to touch it with the end of her 
finger, at the invitation of Astane. It is also in this 
house^ excavated in the rock, that Astan^ has his 
observatory, a pit traversing the mountain, by means 
of which he contemplates the heavens (text 9), our 
earth included, by means of a telescope, which the 
beast with the head of a cabbage brings him. 

To these qualities of savant Astan^ joins those of 
wise counsellor and of patriarchal governor. We 
also see a young girl named Matemi coming to 
consult him frequently (texts 22 and 28), perhaps 
on matrimonial affairs, since Matemi reappears 
on several occasions with her lover or her fiance, 
Sike, and, among others, at a great family /t%, pre- 
sided over by Astane. (See Fig. 19.) 

The following are some details concerning that 
vision, which occupied the greater part of a seance 
(November 28, 1897). Helene sees, in a vast, red, ini- 
tial light, a Martian street appear, lighted neither by 
lamps nor electricity, but by lights shining through 
small wind ws in the walls of the houses. The 
interior of one of these houses becomes visible to 
her : a superb, square hall, lighted at each angle by 
a kind of lamp, formed of four superposed globes, 
— two blue and two white — not of glass (Fig. 19) ; 
under each lamp a small basin, over which was a 
kind of cornucopia pouring forth water. There 
were many ornamental plants. In the middle of 
the hall, a grove, around which are placed a num- 
ber of small tables with a polished surface like nickel. 
There are young people in Martian robes ; young 



girls with long hair hanging down their backs, and 
wearing at the back of the head a head-dress of roses; 
colored blue or green butterflies attached to the neck. 

There were at least thirty speaking Martian (but 
H61ene did not hear them distinctly). Astan6 ap- 
peared " in a very ugly robe to-day," and showed him- 
self full of friendly gallantry towards the young girls. 
He seats himself alone at one of the tables while 
the young people take their places at others, two 
couples at each. These tables are adorned with 
flowers different from ours : some blue, with leaves 
in the shape of almonds ; others starry, and as white 
as milk, scented like musk ; others, again, the most 
beautiful, have the form of trumpets, either blue or 
fire colored, with large rounded leaves, with black 
figures. (See Fig. 20.) 

Helene hears Astand pronounce the name " Pouze." 
Then come two men in long white trousers with a 
black sash ; one wears a coat of rose color, the other 
a white one. They carry ornamented trays, and, pass- 
ing in front of each table, they place square plates 
upon them, with forks without handles, formed of 
three teeth an inch in length : for glasses they had 
goblets like tea-cups, bordered with a silver thread. 
Then they brought in a kind of basin a cooked animal 
resembling a cat, which is placed before Astan6, who 
twists it and cuts it rapidly with his fingers, tipped with 
sharp silver tips ; square pieces are distributed, among 
the guests, on square plates with furrows around the 
edges for the juice. Every one is filled with a wild 
gayety. Astan6 sits at each table in succession, and 
the girls pass their hands through his hair. New 

J 86 

Fig TO Flying-machine held by Astan^, emitting 
yellow and red flames. [From the collection of 
M. Lemaitre ] 

' ■WW' "VC-i?- '■ 

Fig. 20. Plant of Martian design. Fire-red flowers; 
violet-gray leaves. 


plates are brought, and pink, white, and blue basins 
tipped with flowers. These basins melt, and are eaten 
like the flowers. Then the guests wash their hands 
at little fountains in the corners of the room. 

Now one of the walls is raised, like the curtain of 
a theatre, and Helfene sees a magnificent hall adorned 
with luminous globes, flowers, and plants, with the 
ceiling painted in pink clouds on a pink sky, with 
couches and pillows suspended along the walls. Then 
an orchestra of ten musicians arrive, carrying a kind 
of gilded funnel about five feet in height, with a 
round cover to the large opening, and at the neck a 
kind of rake, on which they placed their fingers. H6- 
Ifene hears music like that made by flutes and sees 
every one moving : they arrange themselves by fours, 
make passes and gestures, then reunite in groups of 
eight. They glide about gently, for it could not be 
called dancing. They do not clasp each other's 
waists, but place their hands on each other's 
shoulders, standing some distance apart. It is ter- 
ribly warm. It is "boiling hot." They stop, walk, 
talk, and it is then that H61^ne hears a tall young 
brunette (Matemi) and a short young man (Sike) ex- 
change the first words of text No. 20. Then they 
depart in the direction of a large bush with red 
flowers (tamiche) and are soon followed by Ramie 
and his companion. 

At this moment the vision, which has lasted an 
hour and a quarter, passes away. H616ne, who had 
remained standing during the whole description, now 
enters into complete somnambulism, and Astan6 
causes her to write Martian phrases which she had 



heard and repeated a short time before. During the 
entire vision Leopold occupied her left hand, which 
was hanging anaesthetically down her body, and re- 
plied by his index -finger to the questions which I 
asked in a low voice. I thus learned that this Martian 
scene was not a wedding, or any special ceremony, 
but a simple family fete ; that it was no recollection 
or product of Helene's imagination but a reality act- 
ually passing on Mars : that it was not Leopold but 
Astane who furnished this vision and caused her to 
hear the music : that Leopold himself neither saw 
nor heard anything of it all, yet knows all that Mile. 
Smith sees and hears, etc. 

This resumd of a family fete, presided over by As- 
tan6, gives the measure of the originality of the peo- 
ple of Mars. The visions relating to other incidents 
are of the same order : read the description of the 
Martian nursery (text 36), of the voyage in a miza 
a sort of automobile, the mechanism of which is en- 
tirely unknown to us (text 2^), of the operation of 
chirurgery (text 29), of the games of the little Anini 
(p. 176, etc.). We see always the same general mixt- 
ure of imitation of things which transpire among 
us, and of infantile modifications of them in the mi- 
nute details. 

PouzE Ramie— Various Personages 

Of the other personages who traverse the Martian 
visions we know too little to waste much time upon 
them. The name of the one who appears most fre- 
quently is Pouze. He is present at the banquet, and 


we meet him also in the company of a poor httle with- 
ered old man with a trembling voice, in connection 
with whom he occupies himself with gardening or 
botany, in an evening promenade by the shore of 
the lake (text 14). He also figures again by the 
side of an unknown person named Panin6, and he 
has a son, Saine, who had met with some accident 
to his head and had been cured of it, to the great joy 
of his parents (texts 23 and 24). 

Finally, we must devote a few words to Rami^, 
who manifests himself for the first time in October, 
1898, as the revealer of the ultra-Martian world, of 
which we shall soon take cognizance. Ramie seems 
to be a relative of Astane, an astronomer, not so brill- 
iant as Astan6, but possessing the same privilege, 
which the ordinary Martians do not seem to enjoy, 
of being able to take hold of H61ene's arm, and of 
writing with her hand. There is, to my mind, no 
fundamental difference between Leopold, Astane, 
and Ramie, in their relation to H61ene ; they are 
only a reproduction in triplicate of one identical emo- 
tional relation, and I do not think I am mistaken 
in regarding these three figures as three very trans- 
parent disguises of the same fundamental personality, 
which is only a hypnoid subdivision of the real being 
of Mile. Smith. 

It is much wiser to leave to the future — if the Mar- 
tian and ultra-Martian romances continue to de- 
velop — the task of enhghtening ourselves more 
completely as to the true character of Rami6. Pos- 
sibly some day we shall also know more concerning 
the couple called Matemi and Sike, as well as many 



others, such as Saz6ni, Panin6, the little BuUi^, 
Rom6, FMi^, etc., of whom we now know scarcely 
more than their names, and understand nothing 
in regard to their possible relationships to the cen- 
tral figures of Astane and Esenale. 

IV. Concerning the Author of the Mar- 
tian Romance 

The general ideas which the Martian cycle 
suggests will most assuredly differ, according to 
whether it is considered as an authentic revelation 
of affairs on the planet Mars, or only as a simple 
fantasy of the imagination of the medium; and 
meanwhile, holding, myself, to the second suppo- 
sition, I demand from the Martian romance infor- 
mation in regard to its author rather than its sub- 

There are two or three points concerning this un- 
known author which strike me forcibly : 

First: He shows a singular indifference — pos- 
sibly it may be due to ignorance — in regard to all 
those questions which are most prominent at the 
present time, I will not say among astronomers, but 
among people of the world somewhat fond of popular 
science and curious concerning the mysteries of 
our universe. The canals of Mars, in the first place — 
those famous canals with reduplication — tempora- 
rily more enigmatical than those of the Ego of the 
mediums ; then the strips of supposed cultivation 
along their borders, the mass of snow around the 



poles, the nature of the soil, and the conditions of 
life on those worlds, in turn inundated and burn- 
ing, the thousand and one questions of hydrography, 
of geology, of biology, which the amateur naturalist 
inevitably asks himself on the subject of the planet 
nearest to us — of all this the author of the Martian 
romance knows nothing and cares nothing. Ques- 
tions of sociology do not trouble him to a much great- 
er extent, since the people occupying the most promi- 
nent place in the Martian visions, and making the 
conversation, in no wise enlighten us as to the civil 
and political organization of their globe, as to the 
fine arts and religion, commerce and industry, etc. 
Have the barriers of the nations fallen, and is there 
no longer a standing army up there, except that of 
the laborer occupied in the construction and main- 
tenance of that gigantic net-work of canals for com- 
munication or irrigation ? Esenale and Astan6 
have not deigned to inform us. It seems probable 
from certain episodes that the family is, as with us, 
at the foundation of Martian civilization ; never- 
theless, we have no direct or detailed information in 
regard to this subject. It is useless to speculate. 
It is evident that the author of this romance did not 
care much for science, and that, in spite of her de- 
sire to comply with the wishes of M. Lemaitre (see 
p. 149), she had not the least conception of the ques- 
tions which arise in our day, in every cultivated 
mind, as to the planet Mars and its probable inhabi- 

Secondly : If, instead of quarrelling with the Mar- 
tian romance about that which it fails to furnish us, 



we endeavor to appreciate the full value of what it 
does give us, we are struck by two points, which I have 
already touched upon more than once in passing — 
viz., the complete identity of the Martian world, taken 
in its chief points, with the world n which we live, 
and its puerile originality in a host of minor details. 
Take, for example, the family f^te (p. i88). To be 
sure, the venerable Astan6 is there saluted by a caress 
of the hair instead of a hand-shake ; the young cou- 
ples while dancing grasp each other not by the waist 
but by the shoulder ; the ornamental plants do not 
belong to any species known to us : but, save for these 
insignificant divergences from our costumes and 
habits, as a whole, and in general tone, it is exactly 
as with us. 

The imagination which forged these scenes, with 
all their decoration, is remarkably calm, thoughtful, 
devoted to the real and the probable. The miza, 
which runs without a visible motor power, is neither 
more nor less extraordinary to the uninitiated spec- 
tator than many of the vehicles which traverse our 
roads. The colored globes placed in an aperture of 
the walls of the houses to light the streets recall 
strongly our electric lamps. Astane's flying-ma- 
chine will probably soon be realized in some form or 
other. The bridges which disappear under the 
water in order to allow boats to pass (text 25) are, 
save for a technical person, as natural as ours which 
accomplish the same result by lifting themselves in 
the air. With the exception of the " evocative " pow- 
ers of Astan6, which only concern Mile. Smith per- 
sonally and do not figure in any Martian scene, there 



is nothing on Mars which goes beyond what has been 
attained or might be expected to be accompHshed by 
ingenious inventors here below. 

A wise Httle imagination of ten or twelve years old 
would have deemed it quite droll and original to make 
people up there eat on square plates with a furrow for 
the gravy, of making an ugly beast with a single eye 
carry the telescope of Astan6 to him, of making 
babies to be fed by tubes running directly to the 
breasts of animals like the female deer, etc. There 
is nothing of the Thousand and One Nights, the 
Metamorphoses of Ovid, fairy stories, or the advent- 
ures of Gulliver, no trace of ogres nor of giants nor 
of veritable sorcerers in this whole cycle. One would 
say that it was the work of a young scholar to whom 
had been given the task of trying to invent a world 
as different as possible from ours, but real, and who 
had conscientiously applied himself to it, loosening 
the reins of his childish fancy in regard to a multitude 
of minor points in the limits of what appeared admis- 
sible according to his short and narrow experience. 

Thirdly : By the side of these arbitrary and use- 
less innovations the Martian romance bears in a 
multitude of its characteristics a clearly Oriental 
stamp, upon which I have already often insisted. 
The yellow complexion and long black hair of 
Astan6; the costume of all the personages — robes em- 
broidered or of brilliant hues, sandals with thongs, 
flat white hats, etc., the long hair of the women and 
the ornaments in the form of butterflies for their coif- 
fures ; the houses of grotesque shapes, recalling the 
pagoda, kiosk, and minaret, the warm and glowing 
N 193 


colors of the skies, the water, the rocks, and the 
vegetation (see Figs. 13 and 14), etc. : all tliis has a 
sham air of Japanese, Chinese, Hindoo. It is to be 
noted that this imprint of the extreme East is purely 
exterior, not in any wise penetrating to the charac- 
ters or manners of the personages. 

All the traits that I discover in the author of the 
Martian romance can be summed up in a single phrase, 
its profoundly infantile character. The candor and 
imperturbable naivete of childhood, which doubts 
nothing because ignorant of everything, is necessary 
in order for one to launch himself seriously upon an 
enterprise such as the pretended exact and authentic 
depictions of an unknown world. An adult, in the 
least cultivated and having some experience of life, 
would never waste time in elaborating similar non- 
sense — Mile. Smith less than any one, intelligent and 
cultivated as she is in her normal state. 

This provisional view of the author of the Martian 
cycle will find its confirmation and its complement in 
the following chapters, in which we shall examine 
the Martian language, from which I have until now 



OF the various automatic phenomena, the 
" speaking in tongues " is one which at all 
times has most aroused curiosity, while at 
the same time little accurate knowledge concerning 
it has been obtainable, on account of the dif&culty 
of collecting correctly the confused and unintelli- 
gible words as they gush forth. 

The phonograph, which has already been em- 
ployed in some exceptional cases, like that of Le 
Baron, will doubtless some day render inestimable 
service to this kind of study, but it leaves much still 
to be desired at the present moment, from the point 
of view of its practical utilization in the case of sub- 
jects not in their right mind, who are not easily man- 
ageable, and who will not remain quiet long enough 
while uttering their unusual words to allow the in- 
strument to be adjusted and made ready. 

There are different species of glossolalia. Sim- 
ple, incoherent utterances, in a state of ecstasy, in- 
terspersed with emotional exclamations, which are 
sometimes produced in certain surcharged religious 
environments, is another matter altogether from the 
creation of neologisms, which are met with in the 



dream, in somnambulism, mental alienation, or in 
children. At the same time this fabrication of ar- 
bitrary words raises other problems — as, for example, 
the occasional uge of foreign idioms unknown to the 
subject (at least, apparently), but which really exist. 
In each of these cases it is necessary to examine fur- 
ther whether, and in what measure, the individual 
attributes a fixed meaning to the sounds which he 
utters, whether he understands (or has, at least, the 
impression of understanding) his own words, or 
whether it is only a question of a mechanical and 
meaningless derangement of the phonetic apparatus, 
or, again, whether this jargon, unintelligible to the 
ordinary personality, expresses the ideas of some 
secondary personality. All these forms, moreover, 
vary in shades and degrees, and there are, in ad- 
dition, those mixed cases, possibly the more fre- 
quent, where all the forms are mingled and com- 
bined. The same individual, and sometimes in the 
course of the same spasm, also exhibits a series of 
neologisms, comprehended or uncomprehended, giv- 
ing way to a simple, incoherent verbiage in com- 
mon language, or vice versa, etc. 

A good description and rational classification of 
all these categories and varieties of glossolalia would 
be of very great interest. I cannot think of attempt- 
ing such a study here, having enough already to 
fully occupy my attention, by reason of having 
involved myself with the Martian of Mile. Smith. 
This somnambulistic language does not consist, 
as we have already discovered, either in speaking 
ecstatically or in religious enthusiasm, nor yet in 



the use of a foreign language which really exists ; 
it represents rather neologism carried to its highest 
expression and practised in a systematic fashion, 
with a very precise signification, by a secondary 
personality unknown to the normal self. It is a 
typical case of " glosso-poesy," of complete fabri- 
cation of all the parts of a new language by a sub- 
conscious activity. I have many times regretted 
that those who have witnessed analogous phenom- 
ena — as, for example, Kerner, with the Seeress of 
Prevost — have not gathered together and published 
in their entirety all the products of this singular 
method of performing their functions on the part of 
the verbal faculties. Undoubtedly each case taken 
by itself seems a simple anomaly, a pure arbitrary 
curiosity, and without any bearing ; but who knows 
whether the collection of a large number of these 
psychological bibelots, as yet few enough in their 
total, would not end in some unexpected light ? Ex- 
ceptional facts are often the most instructive. 

In order to avoid falling into the same errors of 
negligence, not knowing where to stop, in case I 
wished to make a choice, I have taken the course of 
setting forth here in full all the Martian texts which 
we have been able to gather. I will have them fol- 
low a paragraph containing certain remarks which 
that unknown language has suggested to me ; but, 
very far from flattering myself that I have exhausted 
the subject, I earnestly hope that it will find read- 
ers more competent than myself to correct and com- 
plete my observations, since I must acknowledge 
that as a linguist and philologist I am very much 



like an ass playing the flute. It is expedient, in 
beginning, to give some further details regarding 
the various psychological methods of manifestation 
of that unkfiown tongue. 

I. Verbal Martian Automatisms 

I have described in the preceding chapter, and will 
not now return to it, the birth of the Martian lan- 
guage, indissolubly bound up with that of the ro- 
mance itself, from the 2d of February, 1896, up to the 
inauguration of the process of translation by the en- 
trance of Esenale upon the scene on the 2d of Novem- 
ber following (see pp. 154-165). During several 
months thereafter the Martian language is confined 
to the two psychological forms of apparition in which 
it seems to have been clothed during the course of 
that first year. 

First : Verbo-auditive automatism, hallucinations 
of hearing, accompanying visions in the waking 
state. In the case of spontaneous'visions, Helfene notes 
in pencil, either during the vision itself or immediately 
afterwards, the unintelligible sounds which strike her 
ear ; but to her great regret many of them escape her, 
since she is sometimes only able to gather the first or 
the last phrase of the sentences which her imaginary 
personages address to her, or scattered fragments of 
conversations which she holds with herself; these 
fragments themselves often contain inaccuracies, 
which are ultimately rectified at the moment of trans- 
lation, Esenale having the good habit of articulating 
very clearly each Martian word before giving its 


French equivalent. In the case of the visions which 
she has at the seances, H61fene slowly repeats the 
words she hears without understanding them, and 
the sitters make note of them more or less cor- 

Secondly : Vocal automatism (" verbo-motor hallu- 
cinations of articulation," in the cumbersome official 
terminology). Here again it is the sitters who gath- 
er as much as they can of the strange words pro- 
nounced in a state of trance, but that is very little, 
since H^l^ne, in her Martian state, often speaks with 
a tremendous volubility. Moreover, a distinction 
must be made between the relatively clear and brief 
phrases which are later translated by Esenale, and 
the rapid and confused gibberish the signification 
of which can never be obtained, probably because 
it really has none, but is only a pseudo-language 
(see pp. 154-159)- 

A new process of communication, the handwrit- 
ing, made its appearance in August, 1897, with a 
delay of perhaps eighteen months as to the speech 
(the reverse of Leopold's case, who wrote a long time 
before speaking). It is produced, also, under two 
forms, which constitute a pendant to the two cases 
given above, and also complete the standard quar- 
tette of the psychological modalities of language. 

Thirdly : Verbo-visual automatism — that is, appa- 
ritions of exotic characters before Helene's eyes when 
awake, who copies them as faithfully as possible 
in a drawing, without knowing the meaning of the 
mysterious hieroglyphics. 

Fourthly: Graphic automatism — i.e., writing traced 


by the hand of Hel^ne while completely entranced 
and incarnating a Martian personage. In this case 
the characters are generally smaller, more regular, 
better formed than in the drawings of the preceding 
case. A certain number of occasions, when the 
name has been pronounced by H61ene before being 
written, and especially the articulation of Esenale 
at the moment of translation, have permitted the 
relations between her vocal sounds and the graphic 
signs of the Martian language to be established. 

It is to be noted that these four automatic mani- 
festations do not inflict an equal injury upon the 
normal personality of MUe. Smith. As a rule, the 
verbo-auditive and verbo-visual hallucinations only 
suppress her consciousness of present reality ; they 
leave her a freedom of mind which, if not complete, 
is at least sufficient to permit her to observe in 
a reflective manner these sensorial automatisms, 
to engrave them on her memory, and to describe 
them or make a copy of them, while she often adds 
remarks testifying to a certain critical sense. On 
the contrary, the verbo-motor hallucinations of artic- 
ulation or of writing seem to be incompatible with 
her preservation of the waking state, and are fol- 
lowed by amnesia. H61fene is always totally absent 
or entranced while her hand writes mechanically, 
and if, as seldom happens, she speaks Martian auto- 
matically, outside of the moments of complete in- 
carnation, she is not aware of it, and does not recol- 
lect it. This incapacity of the normal personality 
of MUe. Smith to observe at the time or remember 
afterwards her verbo-motor automatisms denotes 



a more profound perturbation than that she experi- 
ences during her sensory automatisms. 

The Martian handwriting only appeared at the 
end of a prolonged period of incubation, which be- 
trayed itself in several incidents, and was certainly 
stimulated by various exterior suggestions during 
a year and a half at least. The following are the 
principal dates of this development. 

February i6, 1896. — The idea of a special hand- 
writing belonging to the planet Mars occurs for the 
first time to Helene's astonishment in a Martian 
semi-trance (see p. 161). 

November 2. — Handwriting is clearly predicted 
in the phrase, "Astane will teach me to write," ut- 
tered by H^lene in a Martian trance, after the scene 
of the translation by Esenale (see p. 166). 

November 8. — ^After the translation of text No. 3, 
Leopold, being questioned, replies that Astane will 
write this text for Mile. Smith, but the prediction is 
not fulfilled. 

May 2;^, 1897. — The announcement of Martian 
handwriting becomes more precise. " Presently," 
says Astane to Helene, " thou wilt be able to trace 
our handwriting, and thou wilt possess in thy hands 
the characters of our language" (text 12). 

June 20. — At the beginning of a seance, a Martian 
vision, she demands of an imaginary interlocutor 
" a large ring which comes to a point, and with which 
one can write." This description applies to M. R., 
who has with him some small pocket-pens of this 
kind, capable of being adjusted to the end of the in- 


June 23. — I hand H^l^ne the two small pocket- 
pens which M. R. has brought for her, but they do 
not please her. After trying to use one, she throws 
it away and takes up a pencil, saying that if she must 
write Martian, the ordinary means will suf&ce as 
well as those peculiar pocket-pens. In about a min- 
ute she falls asleep, and her hand begins automati- 
cally to trace a message in Leopold's handwriting. 
I then ask that individual whether the pocket-pens 
of M. R. do not meet the exigencies of Martian, and 
whether Mile. Smith will some day write that lan- 
guage, as has already been announced. Helene's 
hand thereupon responds in the beautiful callig- 
raphy of Leopold: "I have not yet seen the instru- 
ment which the inhabitants of the planet Mars use 
in writing their language, but I can and do affirm 
that the thing will happen, as has been announced 
to you.— Leopold." 

June 27. — In the scene of the translation of text 15, 
Helfene adds to her usual refrain, " Esenale has gone 
away ; he will soon return ; he will soon write." 

August 3. — Between four and five o'clock in the 
afternoon Helene had a vision at her desk, lasting 
ten or fifteen minutes, of a broad, horizontal bar, 
flame-colored, then changing to brick-red, and which 
by degrees became rose-tinted, on which were a mul- 
titude of strange characters, which she supposes 
to be the Martian letters of the alphabet, on account 
of the color. These characters floated in space be- 
fore and round about her. Analogous visions oc- 
cur in the course of the weeks immediately follow- 



August 22. — Hflfene for the first time writes in 
Martian. After various non-Martian visions Mile. 
Smith turns away from the window (it rained hard, 
and the sky was very gray) and exclaims, " Oh, 
look, it is all red ! Is it already time to go to bed ? 
M. Lemaitre, are you there ? Do you see how red 
it is ? I see Astane, who is there, in that red ; I 
only see his head and the ends of his fingers ; he 
has no robe ; and here is the other (Esenale) with 
him. They both have some letters at the ends of 
their fingers on a bit of paper. Quick, give me some 
paper !" A blank sheet and the pocket-pen are hand- 
ed to her, which latter she disdainfully throws down. 
She accepts an ordinary pencil, which she holds in 
her customary fashion, between her middle and in- 
dex-finger, then writes from left to right the three 
first lines of Fig. 21, looking attentively towards the 
window at her fictitious model before tracing each 
letter, and adding certain oral notes, according to 
which there are some words which she sees written 
in black characters on the three papers— or, more 
correctly, on three white wands, a sort of narrow 
cylinder, somewhat flattened out — which Astan6, 
Esenale, and a third personage whose name she 
does not know but whose description corresponds 
with that of Pouze, hold in their right hands. After 
which she again sees another paper or cylinder, 
which Astan6 holds above his head, and which bears 
also some words which she undertakes to copy (the 
three last lines of Fig. 21, p. 205). " Oh, it is a pity," 
says she, on coming to the end of the fourth line, 
"it is all on one line, and I have no more room." She 



then writes underneath the three letters of line 5, and 
without saying anything adds line 6. Then she 
resumes : " How dark it is with you . . . the sun 
has entirely gone down " (it still rains very hard). 
"No one morel nothing more!" She remains in 
contemplation before that which she has written, 
then sees Astan^ again near the table, who again 
shows her a paper, the same, she thinks, as the for- 
mer one. " But no, it is not altogether the same ' 
there is one mistake, it is there [she points to the 
fourth line towards the end] . Ah, I do not see 

more !" Then, presently she adds : " He showed 
me something else ; there was a mistake, but I was 
not able to see it. It is very difi&cult. While I was 
writing, it was not I myself, I could not feel my 
arms. It was difficult, because when I raised my 
head I no longer saw the letters well. It was like a 
Greek design." 

At this moment Hilhne recovered from the state of 
obscuration, from which she emerged with difficulty, 
which had accompanied the Martian vision and the 
automatic copy of the verbo-visual text. But a little 
later in the evening she only vaguely remembered 
having seen strange letters, and was altogether igno- 
rant of having written anything. 

The very natural supposition that the three first 
words written were the names of the known person- 
ages (Astan6, Esenale, Pouz6), who bore them on 
their wands, led to the discovery of the meaning of 
many of the Martian characters and permitted the 
divining of the sense of the three last words. 

The new alphabet was enriched by certain othef 


Fig. 21. Text No. i6: seance of August 22, 1897.— First Martian esenale 

text written by Mile. Smith (according to a visual hallucination). pouze 

Natural size. [Collection of M. Lemaitre.] — Herewith its mene simand 

French notation. i^i- 




signs on the following days, thanks to the echoes 
of that seance in the ordinary life of Helfene, who 
happened on several occasions to write not the true 
Martian as yet, but French in Martian letters, to 
her great stupefaction when she found herself after 
a while in the presence of these unknown hiero- 

.V-si/%t5--i^ M^cti^r. ^is^uct 

Fig. 22. Examples of isolated French words ijranfaise, luvtih'e, prairie) automati- 
cally traced in Martian characters by Mile. Smith in her normal handwriting. See 
also Fig. I, p. 56. 

The first manifestation of that graphic automa- 
tism, being as yet concerned only with the form of 
the letters and not the vocabulary, dates from the 
day after the following seance : 

August 23. — "Here," wrote H61^ne to me at noon, 
sending me some memoranda from which I have 
taken the three examples of Fig. 22 — " here are some 
labels which I made it my business to make this 
morning at ten o'clock, and which I have not been 
able to finish in a satisfactory manner. I have only 
just now emerged from the rose-colored fog in which 
I have been continuously enwrapped for almost two 

Three weeks later a complete automatic Martian 
handwriting was produced in a seance at my house, 
of which the following is a summary. 

September 12, 1897.— At the end of a quite long 
Martian vision. Mile. Smith sees Astan^ who has 
something at the end of his finger and who signs to 



her to write. I offer her a pencil, and after various 
tergiversations she slowly begins to trace some Mar- 
tian characters (Fig. 23). Astane has possession of 
her arm, and she is, during this time, altogether an- 
esthetic and absent. Leopold, on the contrary, is at 
hand, and gives various indications of his presence. 

V/jZcj./* icxr i.fifte inr s.cj.c^ e^uzf ^xog^i v^u 


e ti Ca nnO-CT) s*- ?- oc7e,^7^»^ 

Fig. 23. Martian text No. 17; seance of September 12, 1897. Written by Mile. 
Smith incarnating Astan^ (then Leopold for the French words at the end). See 
the translation, p. 222. Too many /'s at the end of the first line immediately pro- 
duced the scrawls intended to strike them out. (Reproduction one-half natural 
size. ) 

At the end of the sixth line she seems to half awaken, 
and murmurs, " I am not afraid ; no, I am not afraid." 
Then she again falls into a dream in order to write 
the four last words (which signify " Then do not fear," 
and which are the response of Astan^ to her excla- 



Almost immediately Leopold substitutes himself 
for Astane and traces on the same sheet, in his char- 
acteristic handwriting (considerably distorted tow- 
ards the end) : " Place ihy hand on her forehead," 
by means of which he indicates to me that the time 
has arrived to pass on to the scene of translation by 

We may conclude from these successive stages 
that the Martian handwriting is the result of a slow 

o-p,ai<ittJLVvrycu% , ch 

Fig 24. Martian alphabet, summary of the signs obtained. {Never has been given 
as such by Mile. Smith.) 

autosuggestion, in which the idea of a special writing 
instrument, and its handling, for a long time played 
the dominant role, then was abandoned, without 
doubt, as impracticable to realize. The characters 
themselves then haunted for several weeks H61^ne's 
visual imagination before they appeared to her on 
the cylinders of the three Martians in a manner suf- 
ficiently clear and stable to enable her to copy 
them and afterwards to be capable of subduing her 
graphomotor mechanism. Once manifested out- 



wardly, these signs, which I have assembled under 
the form of an alphabet in Fig. 24, have not varied for 
two years. 

Moreover, some trifling confusion, of which I shall 
speak a little later, shows well that the personality 
which employs them is not absolutely separated from 
that of Hel^ne, although the latter, in a waking state, 
might hold the same relation to Martian which she 
holds to Chinese — that is, she knows its general very 
characteristic aspect, but is ignorant of the significa- 
tion of the characters, and would be incapable of read- 
ing it. 

Helene's Martian handwriting is not stereotyped, 
but presents, according to circumstances, some va- 
riations in form, especially in the size of the let- 

This may be established by Figs. 21 to ^2, in 
which I have reproduced the greater part of the texts 
obtained by writing. When the Martian gushes 
forth in verbo- visual hallucinations, Helene tran- 
scribes it in strokes of large dimensions, lacking 
firmness, full of repetitions (Figs. 21, 26, 31), and 
she always remarks that the original, which is before 
her eyes, is much smaller and clearer than her copy. 
In the texts which have come automatically from 
her hand — i.e., supposedly traced by the Martians 
themselves — the handwriting is really smaller and 
more precise. Here again are some curious differ- 
ences. Astane has a calligraphy less voluminous 
than that of Esenale, and Rami6 has a much finer 
one than Esenale (Figs. 28 and 29). 

It would be altogether premature for me to launch 
o 209 


myself upon the study of Martian graphology, and, 
therefore, leaving that line to my successors, I take 
up the texts which have been collected in their chron- 
ological order. 

II. The Martian Texts 

It is not always easy to represent a language and 
its pronunciation by means of the typographical 
characters of another. Happily the Martian, in spite 
of its strange appearance and the fifty millions of 
leagues which separate us from the red planet, is 
in reality so near neighbor to French that there is 
scarcely any difficulty in this case. 

The dozen written texts* which we possess, and 
which Mile. Smith either copied from a verbo-visual 
hallucination, or which were traced by her hand in 
an access of graphomotor automatism, are readily 
translated into French, since each Martian letter 
has its exact equivalent in the French alphabet. 
I have confined myself to placing accents on the 
vowels (there are none in the Martian writing), con- 
formably to the pronunciation of Esenale at the 
moment of translation. It is only necessary to read 
the following texts aloud, articulating them as 
though they were French, in order to secure the 
Martian words almost exactly as they proceed from 
the mouth of M le. Smith ; I say almost, because 
there still remains, naturally, in the speech of Ese- 
nale, as in that of every one, a special mannerism 

* These are texts 16-20, 26, 28, 31 34, 37-39. They are further 
distinguished by an asterisk. 



of strengthening certain syllables and slurring oth- 
ers — in short, that of delicate shades of accentua- 
tion, which cannot be adequately represented, and 
which the hearers did not attempt to take note of 
at the seances. 

In the auditive or vocal texts, those which have 
not been obtained by writing, I have adopted the 
more probable orthography, according to the pro- 
nunciation of Esenale, but (with the exception 
of words known by means of the written texts) I 
naturally cannot guarantee their absolute correct- 

The manner in which Helene takes down in pen- 
cil the Martian phrases which strike her ear is not of 
great assistance to us in that respect, because, as 
I have said above (p. 158), she finds herself at the 
time of these verbo-auditive hallucinations in the 
situation of a person who hears some unknown 
words, and spells them as well as she is able, after 
a quite arbitrary and often faulty fashion. She 
writes, for example, "hezi darri ne cikg taisse, " 
which, according to the pronunciation of Esenale 
and other written texts, should be " ezi darie sik6 
tes "; or, again, " misse masse as si le," instead of 
" mis mess ass lie." We cannot, therefore, depend 
upon the orthography of H61^ne, but I have naturally 
followed it in every case in which there seemed to 
be no good reason to depart from it. In stating that 
the following texts should be articulated like French, 
two remarks must be added : First, the final con- 
sonant, very rare in Martian, is always aspirated; 
the word ten is pronounced as in the French gluten ; 


essat, like fat ; ames, like aloes ; mis and mess, like 
lis (flower), and mess (of an officer), etc. In the sec- 
ond place, for the different values of the e I have 
adopted the following rule : the e broad is always 
indicated by the accent grave §; the e medium, 
which is only found at the beginning and in the mid- 
dle of a word, is marked with the acute accent e; 
the e short, by the acute accent at the end of a word 
(or before a final e mute), and by the circumflex at 
the beginning or in the middle ; the c mute, or demi- 
mute, remains without accent. 

The pronunciation, therefore, will be, for exam- 
ple, the e's of the Martian words mete, benezee, like 
those of the French words 4te, repetee; eve, like 
rev6, t&s, as in Lut&ce, etc. 

There will be found in italics, underneath the 
Martian texts, their French equivalents, word for 
word, as given by Esenale in the manner described 
above (see pp. 166-168).* I have also indicated the 
kind of automatism — auditive, visual, vocal, or 
graphic — by means of which each text was obtained, 
also the date of its appearance, and (in parentheses) 
that of the seance, often quite remote, at which it 
was translated. I have also added such explana- 
tions as seemed to me to be necessary. 

I. m^tiche C. mSdache C. m^taganiche S. kin't'che 

Monsieur C. Madame C. Mademoiselle S. quatre. 
Mr. C. Mrs. C. Miss C. Four. 

Vocal. February 2, 1896. See above, p. 157. 

* A literal English translation of each text will be found im- 
mediately beneath the French equivalents of the Martian words. 


n€ ci haudan t€ mess m^tiche 

astang k6 (16 

est la maison du grand homme 

A Stan/ que tu 


2. dod6 

m6 v6che. 

as vu. 
This is the house of the great man Astan6, whom thou hast seen. 

Auditive. About September 20, 1896 (translated 
November 2). — Heard by Helene at the same time at 
which she had the vision of Fig. 12 (see p. 166). 

3. niod6 in6 c6 di c^vouitche ni ev6 ch£ kin^ lin£ 

M^re ador/e^ je te reconnais et suis ton petit Linet, 
Adored mother, I recognize thee, and am thy little Linet. 
Words addressed to Mme. Mirbel by her son Alexis 
(Esenale) in a scene of incarnation altogether analo- 
gous to that described on p. 156. 

4. i mod6 m4t£ mod£ mod£ in£ palette is 

mhre^ tendre mkre, Tnkre bien~aim/e, calme tout 
ch6 p61ich6 ch6 chir6 n6 ci ten ti vi 
ton souci^ ton fils est prhs de toi. 

Oh, mother, tender mother, dearly loved mother, calm all thy 
care, thy son is near thee. 

Vocal. November 29, 1896 (translated same se- 
ance).— Spoken by Esenale and addressed to Mme. 
Mirbel, in a scene of incarnation analogous to the 
preceding. At the moment of translation, Esenale 
repeated, very distinctly, the last words, as follows : 
"ne ci, est pres ["is near"], ten ti vi, de toi ("thee"). 
This was evidently an error, since it appears from nu- 
merous later texts that est prSs de toi corresponds to 
ne ten ti vi; it follows that it would be natural to 
translate the word ci by la, ici, or tout, if these words 
had not been differently rendered in other texts. (A 
confusion of the adverb la with the article la, trans- 
lated by ci in text 2, might also be suspected.) 



5. i kich6 ten ti si k6 di ev6 d6 6t6che men6 

Oh ! pourquoi prh de moi ne te iiens-tu toujours, amie 
iz€ b6n£z6e 
enfin retrouv^e ! 

Oh ! Why dost thou not keep thyself always near me, friend, 
at last found again ? 

Auditive. December 4, 1896 (translated Decem- 
ber 13). Fragment of a long discourse by Astan6 
to Helfene, during an apparition which she had of 
him about nine o'clock in the evening, as she was 
about to go to bed. This sentence, which he uttered 
twice, is the only one which she has been able to re- 
call with sufficient precision to note down immedi- 
ately after the vision. She has the feeling of hav- 
ing understood Astane's whole discourse while he 
was delivering it, and thinks she would have been 
able to translate it into French, perhaps not word for 
word, but in its general sense. She expected to 
transcribe it the following day, but in the morning 
when she awoke she was unable to recall either 
the words of Astan6 or their meaning, not even that 
of this sentence, written on the previous evening. 
Heard again, as the second part of the following 
text, in the seance of the 13th of December. 

6. ti iche cen6 €speni£ ni ti ezi atfev astan£ ezi 

De notre belle " Espinii" ei de mon etre Aslant, mon 
6ri6 viz6 6 vi... i kich€ ten ti si k6 di ev6 
dme descend h toi... oh I pourquoi prls de moi ne te tiens- 
d£ 6t£che men6 iz^ b£n€z6e 
tu toujours, amie enfin retroav/e ! 

From our beautiful " Esp6ni6" and from my being Astanfe, my 
soul descends to thee — Oh ! why dost thou not keep thyself al- 
ways near to me, friend, at last found again ? 

Auditive. December 13, 1896 (translated same 


seance) . — Heard in the far-away voice of Astan6, 
H^lfene having all the while a painful sensation, as 
though the skin of her face around her eyes, on the 
back of her wrists and hands, was being torn off. 
In the translation the word Espenie remains as it is, 
being a proper name ; the left index-finger (Leopold) 
points heavenward, and says that it might be ren- 
dered by terre, plan^te, demeure. 

7. c6 ev6 pleva ti di b^nez £ssat riz tfes mid^e 

y> suis chagrin de te retrouver vivant sur cette laide 
dur6e cd t6nass6 riz iche 6speni6 v6t6che 16 ch6 atfev hen6 
terre ; je voudrais sur notre EspMi^ voir tout ton etre s^ Clever 
ni pov6 ten ti si 6ni zee ni6tich6 on6 gud^ ni z§e darifi 
et rester pres de moi ; ici les homvies sont bans et les cceurs 

I am sorry to find you again living on this wretched earth ; I 
would on our Esp6nie see all thy being raise itself and remain 
near me ; here men are good and hearts large. 

Auditive. December 15, 1896 (translated Jan- 
uary 17, 1897). — Words spoken by Astan6 to He- 
Ifene in a morning vision. The following fragment 
of the letter in which she sent me this text merits 
being cited as an example of those quite frequent 
cases in which Mile. Smith, without knowing the 
exact translation of the foreign words, nevertheless 
divines their general signification and comprehends 
them by their emotional equivalent. " This morn- 
ing, at a quarter before six, I saw Astan^ at the foot 
of my bed. The general sense of his language was 
at that moment quite clear to my mind, and I give 
it to you as I understood it — that is, in as clear a 
manner as possible, having noted it down afterwards ; 



' How much I regret your not having been born in 
our world ; you would be much happier there, since 
everything is much better with us, people as well as 
things, and I would be so happy to have you near 
me. ' That is about what it seemed to me to mean ; 
perhaps some day we may be able to be sure of it." 

8. am^s mis tens^e Iad6 si — amfes ten tiv6 av£ 

Viens un instant vers moi, viens prh d^un visit 
men — koum£ i6 ch6 p6Usse — am^s som^ tes6 
ami fondre tout ton chagrin . viens admirer ces 
misaim6 — k6 d6 surfes pit chami — iza m6ta ii 
Jleurs, que tu crois sans parfum.^ mais pourtani si 

bores6 ti finaiim^ — ia izi d£ s£imir£ 

pleines de senteurs I. . . Mais si iu comprendras ! 

Come towards me a moment, come near an old friend to melt 
away all thy sorrow ; come to admire these flowers, which you 
believe without perfume, but yet so full of fragrance ! But if 
thou couldst understand. 

Auditive and vocal. January 31, 1897 (trans- 
lated same seance). — H61^ne, in hemisomnambu- 
lism, sees Astan6, who tells her to repeat his words ; 
she replies to him : " But speak plainly ... I will 
gladly repeat them . . . but I do not understand 
very well . . " Then she pronounces slowly and 
very distinctly the foregoing text, in groups of 
words, separated by a moment of silence (marked 
in the text by the sign — ). It is remarked that 
these groups, with the exception of the sixth, corre- 
spond to the hemistiches of the French translation 
obtained in the same seance. After the sixth group 
H^ltee remains silent for a long time, and finally 
says : " I cannot understand ; " then utters the four last 
words, which are the reply of Astane to her objection. 



9. an^ 6m k6 6r6dut6 c6 ilassun^ t6 ima ni 

C'est ici que, solitaire, ie nCapproche du del et 
b6tin6 ch6e dur^e 
regarde ta terre. 

It is here that, alone, I bring myself near to heaven and look 
upon the earth. 

Auditive. February 24, 1897 (translated March 
14). — Reclining in her easy-chair, after the noon- 
day meal, Helfene hears this sentence, while at the 
same time she has the vision of a house, construct- 
ed by digging into a Martian mountain, and tra- 
versed by a sort of air-shafts, and which represents 
Astan6's observatory. 

10. simandini 1€ lami men6 kiz£ pavi kiz atimi 

Simandini, me void ! amie ! quelle joie, quel bonheur ! 
Simandini, here I am ! friend ! what joy ! what happiness ! 

Auditive. March 14, 1897 (translated same seance). 
— See following text. 

11. i mod^ dum^in^ mod6 kevi c6 mache povini 

mhre, andenne mhre, quand je peux arriver 
po6nez£ niun6 6 vi salin^ ^zin£ mima nikatn^ mod6 
quelques instants vers toi j'oublie mes parents Nikaini, mhre ! 

— i men 

— 6 ami ! 

Oh, mother, former mother, when I can arrive a. few in- 
stants near thee, I forget my parents Nikain6, mother! — Oh 
friend ! 

Vocal. March 14, 1897 (translated same se- 
ance). — From the beginning of this seance H61^ne 
complained of cold hands, then a great desire to 
weep, and of a buzzing in the ears, which kept in- 
creasing and in which she finally heard Astan6 
address to her the Martian words of text 10, Im- 



mediately after she passes into full somnambu- 
lism ; her respirations, very short and panting, rise 
to three per second, accompanied by synchronous 
movements of the left index-finger ; then she stops 
suddenly with a long expiration, immediately fol- 
lowed by a deep inspiration : then her breast heaves, 
her face assumes an expression of suffering, and the 
left index-finger announces that it is Esenale (Alexis 
Mirbel) who is incarnated. After a series of spasms 
and hiccoughs, H61^ne arises, and, placing herself 
behind Mme. Mirbel, takes her neck in her hands, 
bows her head upon hers, tenderly pats her cheek, 
and addresses to her the words of text No. ii (except 
the two last words). Then she raises her head, and 
again, with panting respiration (accelerated to thirty 
inspirations in sixteen seconds), walks towards M. 
Lemaitre (whose pupil Alexis Mirbel had been at 
the time of his death). She places her hands upon 
his shoulders, affectionately grasps his right hand, 
and with emotion and continued sobbing addresses 
to him the two words i men ! After which she goes 
through the pantomime of extending her hand to Leo- 
pold and of allowing him to conduct her to a couch, 
where the translation of texts Nos. lo, ii, and 9 is ob- 
tained by the customary process, but not without 

12. lassung k6 nipun^ ani tis d€ machir miriv£ 

Approche, ne crains pas; bientdt tu pourras tracer 
iche manir s6 d6 dvenir tou£ chi amich£ z6 forim6 
notre /criture^ et tu possideras dans tes mains les marques 
ti viche tarvin6 
de notre langage. 
Approach, fear not ; soon thou wilt be able to trace our writ- 


ing, and thou wilt possess in thy hands the signs of our lan- 

Auditive. May 23, 1897 (translated same se- 
ance). — Shortly after the beginning of the seance, 
H^l^ne, still being awake, has a vision of Astane, 
who addresses her in these words, which she repeats 
slowly and in a feeble voice. I give the text as it 
was heard and uniformly noted by several sitters, 
both at the moment of its utterance and at its sub- 
sequent translation. Many corrections, however, 
would be necessary, in order to make it correspond 
with the later written texts : k6 nipune ani, et ne 
crains pas ("and I am not afraid," or, "and I do not 
fear") should be changed to ki6 nipune ani, ne crains 
pas (see text 17); se or ce only stands here for et, 
which everywhere else is given as ni ; viche is used 
in error for iche (unless the v was added for the sake 
of euphony, of which there is no other example) and 
tis for tiche. 

13. (adfel) and sini (yestad) i astan6 c6 fimfes astand mira 
C'esi vous, d Astani, je meurs ! Astanii, adieu! 

It is you, oh Astan6, I am dying ! Astan6, farewell ! 

Vocal. Same seance as the preceding text, after 
which H61fene passes into full somnambulism, be- 
gins to weep, pants, holds her hand on her heart, 
and pronounces this sentence, mingling with it the 
two words Adel and yestad, which are not Martian, 
but belong to the Oriental cycle ; they also do not 
appear in the text as it was repeated at the time of 
its translation. This intrusion of terms foreign to 
the Martian dream is explained by the imminence 
of a Hindoo scene ready to appear, which occupied 



the latter half of the seance in which the Arab ser- 
vant, AdM, plays a leading role. The mingling of 
the two romances is greatly accentuated a few mo- 
ments later, in a long discourse, devoid of r's and 
very rich in sibilants, and spoken with so great volu- 
bility that it was impossible to gather a single word. 
At the time of the translation, at the close of the 
seance, this tirade was repeated with the same ra- 
pidity, preventing any notation ; according to the 
French translation which followed, it concerned 
memories of the life of Simandini which H61&ne re- 
called to Astane and in which there is much men- 
tion of the aforesaid Ad^l (see Hindoo Cycle, Chap. 

14. eupi£ z£ palir n£ am6 arva nini p6driii£ ^va'i 

Eupii, le temps est venu ; Arva nous quitte ; sois 
divini lam6e ine vina t6 lune — pouz6 men banting 
heureux jusque au retour du jour. — Pouz/, ami fidele, 
ezi vraini n£ touz£ med vi ni ch^ chir£ sain€ — k£ 
mon disir est mime pour toi et ton fils Sain^. — Que 
zalis£ t£ass£ mianin^ ni di dazin€ — eupi6 — pouz£ 
tiUment entier fenveloppe et te garde! — EupiH — Pouzi ! 
Eupi6, the time has come ; Arva leaves us ; be happy till the 
return of the day. Pouze, faithful friend, my wish is even for 
thee, and thy son SainS. — May the entire element envelop thee 
and guard thee ! — Eupi^ ! — Pouz6 ! 

Auditive. June 18, 1897 (translated June 20). 
— During a visit I made to Mile. Smith she has a 
vision of two Martian personages walking on the 
shore of a lake, and she repeats this fragment of 
their conversation which she has heard. According 
to another text (No. 20), Arva is the Martian name 

of the sun. 



15. mod6 tatinde c6 k6 mache radzir^ z€ tarvini va 

Mire cA/rie, je ne puis prononcer le langage oil 
nini nini trim^neni ii adzi c€ z6 seimir^ v6tiche i 
nous nous comprenions si bien ! Je le comprends cependant ; 6 
mod6 in6e kSvi b^rimir ra hed k6vi machiri c6 di trin6 
mere adorie, quand reviendra-t-il? Quand pourrai-je te parler 
ti £stotin£ ni baz^e animina i mod£ c6 m^i adzi 
de ma dernihre et courte existence? m^re, je t'ai bien 
ilin^e i mod€ in^e c€ k6 16 nazbre ani — mira 
reconnue, 6 mire adorh, je ne me trompe pas! — Adieu 
mod^ itatin€e mira mira mira 
m.ire ch^rie, adieu^ adieu^ adieu I 

My dearest, I cannot pronounce the language in which we 
understood each other so well! I understand it, however; oh! 
adored mother, when will it return? When shall I be able to 
speak to thee of my last and short existence? Oh! mother, I 
have well recognized thee, oh ! adored mother, I am not 
mistaken ! — Farewell, dearest mother, farewell, farewell, fare- 
well ! 

Auditive. June 27, 1897 (translated same seance). 
— Mme. Mirbel being present, H616ne perceives Ese- 
nale, who remains in the vicinity of his mother and 
addresses these words to her. The " adieux " at the 
close were not spoken at that time, but were uttered 
by Esenale immediately following and as a comple- 
ment of the translation ; this is the only case (out- 
side of text 36) in which he did not confine himself 
strictly to the texts already gathered and in which he 
permitted himself to introduce a new phrase, which 
otherwise does not contain a single unknown word ; 
itatinee, chirie, is evidently a slip which should be 
corrected either to tatinge, chirie, or to it atinee, 6 
cherie. The precise French equivalent of trimeneni 
is probably entretenions. 



* i6. astan£ ^senate pouz£ men£ simandini mira 

{Asian/. Esenale. Pouzi. Atnie Simandini^ adieu !) 
Astan6. Esenale. Pouzefe. Friend Simandini, farewell ! 

Visual. August 22, 1897. — This text, for which 
there is no need of a translation, constitutes the first 
appearance of the Martian handwriting. See above. 
Fig. 21, and the r^sum^ of that seance, pp. 203-205. 

*i7. tanir^ mis m£ch med miriv6 6zin6 brima| ti tfes 

Prends un crayon four tracer mes paroles de cet 
tens6e — azini d6 am^ir raazi si som£ iche nazina 

instant. Alors tu viendras avec moi admirer notre nouveau 
tran^i. — Simandini c6 ki£ mache di p6drin£ t&s lun^ k£ c£ 

passage. Simandini, je ne puis te quitter ce jour. Que je 

ev6 diving — patrin^z ki6 nipun6 ani 

suis heureux ! — Alors ne crains pas ! 
Take a pencil to trace my words of this moment. Then thou 

wilt come with me to admire our new passage. Simandini, I 

cannot leave thee this day. How happy I am ! — Then fear not ! 

Graphic. September 12, 1897 (translated same se- 
ance). — See p. 207 and Fig. 22,. 

* 18. mod6 tatin^e lami mis mira ti ch6 biga ka 

Mire chdrie, void un adieu de ton enfant qui 
6brini6 Sana 6 vi id6 di z6 r6nir — z6 mess m^tich ka £ 
pense tant i toi. On te le portera, le grand homme qui a, 
z6 valini imin£ — ni z \€\ grani siding 
le visage mince et le corps maigre. 

My dearest, this is a farewell from thy child, who thinks so 
much of thee. The big man, who has a thin face and a slender 
body, will bear it to thee. 

Auditive, then Graphic. October 10, 1897 (trans- 
lated same seance). — H61^ne has a vision of a Mar- 
tian landscape, in which Esenale floats discarnate 
around the plants and speaks these words, which she 
repeats. (It is understood from the translation that 

^.^■:i::^^^^^^A.-:^.-'^ fe',4- _-,-, 

Fig 25. Text No. 18 (October ro, iSgy), written in pencil by Mile Smith, incarnat- 
ing Esenale. Reproduction in autotype two-thirds of the natural size. 

Fig. 26. Text No. 26 (August 21, 1898), which appeared in visual hallucination, and 
was copied by Mile. Smith. Reproductions in autotype. 


this text was intended for Mme. Mirbel, who was 
then in the country, but to whom the person verj'- 
clearly indicated by the final characteristic was 
about to pay a visit and could carry the message.) 
1 then offer H61&ne a pencil in the hope of obtaining 
this same text in writing ; after various tergiver- 
sations and grimaces, denoting a state of increasing 
somnambulism, she finally takes the pencil between 
her index and middle fingers, tells Esenale that she 
still sees him and makes him sit down by her side, 
and then begins to write, completely absent and fas- 
cinated by the paper. The left index-finger (Leopold) 
informs us that it is Esenale himself who is writing 
by means of H616ne's arm. Twice she interrupts 
herself in order to say to Esenale, " Oh ! do not go 
yet, stay a little while longer !" She appears ner- 
vous and agitated, and often stops writing to stab 
her paper with her pencil or to make erasures or 
scribble on it (see Fig. 25) ; in the ze of the last line, 
she forgets the 6 (this did not prevent Esenale from 
pronouncing the word correctly at the time of its 

* 19. ra [en] c6 ki6 mache di trinfi sanding t6ri 
{Aniie, je ne puis te parler longtemps comme 
n6 ezi vraini zou r6ch mira rail6 piri mira 
est tnon dhir ; plus tard, adieu adieu.) 

(Friend, I cannot speak to thee a long time, as is my desire ; 
later, farewell, farewell !) 

Graphic, then Auditive. October 24, 1897 (there 
has never been any translation of this text, two 
words of which are still unknown). — H61fene first 
sees the table illumined by a green light in which 



some designs appear which she copies, and which 
give this text, except the two last letters of the first 
word, the place of which remains blank. Immedi- 
ately after she hears Martian spoken, which she re- 
peats. It is the same text ; then she has a vision of 
Astan^, Esenale, and a little girl whose name she 
hears as Nike ; but this soon gives way to other non- 
Martian somnambulisms. (See Fig. 25.) 

* 20. Sik6 6vai diving z6 nik6 crizi capri n6 ain6 

Sik/, sois heureux ! Le petit oiseau noir est venu 
ori£ ant^ch ^ ez6 carimi ni ezi £ri£ 6 ni£ pavin6e hed 
f rapper kier ^ 7na fenHre^ ef vion dme a /// joyeuse ; il 
16 sadri d^ z6 v£chir tizin€ Matemi misaim^ ka 16 
me chanta : tu le verras demain. — Matemi, fleur qui me 
am&z essat€ Arva ti €zin6 udani| am^s t&s uri am^s 
fais vivre, soleil de vies songes, viens ce soir, viens 
sanding ten ti si 6vai divin^e Rom6 va n6 Sik6 
longtemps prhs de moi ; sois heureuse ! — Rom^, oil est Siki? — 
atrizi ten t6 tam6ch 6pizi 
Lh-bas, prhs du ^^ tam^che^' rose. 

Sik6, be happy ! The little black bird came yesterday rap- 
ping at my window, and my soul was joyful ; he sang to me : 
Thou wilt see him to-morrow. Matemi, flower which makes me 
live, sun of my dreams, come this evening; come for a long 
time to me; be happy! — Rom6, where is Sikfe? — Yonder, near 
the "tamfeche" rose. 

Auditive, then Graphic. November 28, 1897 (trans- 
lated same seance) . — Fragments of conversation 
heard during the vision of the Martian fete described 
on p. 185. Sik6 (a young man) and Matemi (a 
young girl) form the first couple who pass by and 
walk off in the direction of a large bush with red 
flowers (tam^che); then a second couple exchange 
the last words of the text while going to rejoin the 



first. After this vision, which she contemplated 
:;tanding and described with much animation, He- 
lene seated herself and began to write the same 
Martian phrases. It is ascertained from Leopold 
that it was Astane who held her hand (in holding 
the pencil between the thumb and the index-finger — ■ 
that is, after the manner of Leopold and not that of 
Hel^ne as she had held it in writing text No. 17). 
The writing being finished, Leopold directs that He- 
lene shall be made to seat herself on the couch for the 
scene of translation. 

21. vichesi tes6e polluni av6 m^tiche 6 vi ti 

Voyons cette question^ vieux homme j a toi de 

bouni^ seimir6 ni trin£ 
chercher, comprendre et parler. 

Now this question, old man ; it is for thee to seek, to under- 
stand and speak. 

Auditive. January 15, 1898 (translated February 
13). — Fragment of conversation between two Martian 
personages seen in a waking vision. 

22. astan£ c€ am^s 6 vi ch6e brimi mess6 t6ri 
Asian/, je viens a toi; ta sagesse grande comvie 

ch£ pocrim^ 16 . . . 
ton savoir me, . . 

Astanfe, I come to thee ; thy great wisdom as well as thy 
knowledge to me. . . 

Auditive. About January 25, 1898 (translated 
February 13). — Vision, at six o'clock in the morn- 
ing, of a young Martian girl (Matemi ?) traversing 
a tunnel through a mountain and arriving at the 
house of Astan6, to whom she addresses this utter- 
ance, followed by many others which H^l^ne could 
not grasp with sufficient distinctness to note them 

p 225 


23. [A] panin£ Svai kirimi z€ miza ami grini 

Panine, sois prudent, le "miza" va soulever ; 
k6 ch6e dm6che rts paz6 — [B] pouz6 tfes lun6 soumini 
y«^ /a main se retire I — Pouz^, ce jour riant. . . 

arva ii cen z6 primi ti ch6 chir6 kiz pavi lun6 — 
^;-i/a j-z beau... le revoir de ton fits... quel heureux jour — 
[C] saing ezi chir6 iz6 lin^i kiz6 pavi ezi nian6 

Saini, man fils, enfin debout ! quelle joie ! . . . Mon pkre 
ni ez6 mod6 tizin6 ezi chir6 ezi man6 c6 ev6 adi 
^^ wa m^re. . . Demain, mon fits. . . Mon phe, je suis bien 


Panin6, be prudent, the "miza" is about to arise; remove 
thy hand ! Pouz6, this laughing day. . . Arva so beautiful. . . 
The return of thy son. . . What happy day — Sain6, my son, 
finally standing ! What joy !. . . My father and my mother. . . 
To-morrow, my son. . . my father, I am well now. 

Auditive. February 20, 1898 (translated same 
seance). — Very complicated Martian vision. First, 
three small, movable houses, like pavilions or Chi- 
nese kiosks, going about on little balls; in one of 
these, two unknown personages, one of whom puts 
her hand out of a small oval window, which oc- 
casions, on the part of her companion, the obser- 
vation of the first sentence (A) of the text ; at this 
instant, in fact, these rolling pavilions (miza) as- 
sume an oscillatory movement, which makes a noise 
like " tick-tack," and then glide like a train upon 
rails. They go around a high red mountain and 
come into a sort of magnificent gorge or ravine, with 
slopes covered with extraordinary plants, and where 
they find white houses on an iron framework re- 
sembling piles. The two men then alight from their 
" miza," chatting together, but H61&ne can only hear 



fragments (B) of their conversation. A young man 
of sixteen to eighteen years of age comes to meet 
them, who has his head tied up in a kind of nightcap, 
and having no hair on the left side. Martian saluta- 
tions are exchanged; they mutually strike their heads 
with their hands, etc. Helene complains of hearing 
very confusedly that which they are saying, and can 
only repeat ends of sentences (C). She has pain in 
her heart, and Leopold dictates to me by the left in- 
dex-finger, " Put her to sleep," which presently leads 
to the customary scene of translation of the text. 

24. sain6 ezi chir6 i6e ez6 pavi ch6 vina ine ruzzi 

Sain/, man _/ils, loute ma joie, ton retour au milieu 
ti nini n6 mis mess assil6 atimi. . . it^che. . . 
de nous est un grand, immense bonkeur. . . toujours. . . 
furimir. . . nori 
aim-era. jamais. 

Sainfe, my son, all my joy ; thy return to our circle is a great, 
an immense happiness. . . always will love. . . ever. 

Auditive. March 11, 1898 (translated August 21). 
— " Yesterday morning, on jumping out of bed," 
wrote Helene to me, when sending me this text, " I 
had a vision of Mars, almost the same as that which 
I had before (at the seance of February 20). I saw 
again the rolling pavilions, the houses on piling, 
several personages, among them a young man who 
had no hair on one side of his head. I was able to 
note some words. It was very confused, and the 
last words were caught on the wing, when here and 
there something a little clear came to me ..." 

25. A€ v^chi k6 ti 6fi merv6 6ni 

Tu vois que de choses superbes ici. 
Thou seest what superb things (are) here. 


Auditive. August 2i, 1898 (translated same se- 
ance). — Waking vision of a river between two rose- 
colored mountains, with a bridge (like that in Fig. 
9) which lowered itself into the water and disap- 
peared in order to allow five or six boats to pass 
(like that in Fig. 13), then reappeared and was re- 
stored to its place. As H^l^ne describes all this, 
she hears a voice speaking to her the above Martian 
words of the text. 

*26. Astan^ n€ z€ ten ti vi 

Asian/ est la prh de toi. 
Astane is there, near to thee. 

Visual. August 21, 1898 (translated same se- 
ance). — Following the preceding scene : H61Sne per- 
ceives " in the air " (illumined and red — that of her 
Martian vision) some characters unknown to her, 
which she copies (see Fig. 26). 1 ask her, showing 
her the word ze (which elsewhere always stands 
for Ze), if she is not mistaken. She verifies it by 
comparing it with the imaginary model before her 
and af&rms it to be correct. 

27. sik€ kiz crizi hantin€ hed i. £brini£ r&s amer6 £ 

Siki, quel oiseau fidUe ! il u pens/ se r/unir a 
nini £ssat£ ti iche atimi tnatemi hantin£ hed n£ 

nous, vivre de notre bonheur t — Matemi fiddle, il est 
hantin^ ezi dari6 sik6 t&s ousti k^ z6 badeni lassun€ 
Jidlle mon cceur ! — Sik/, ce bateau que le vent approche 
mazi trimazi hed 6 ti zi mazet€ € povin€ £ nini z€ priani 
avec force ! il a de la peine a arriver a nous ; le flot 
€ foumin£ ivraini id£ k ti zi mazet£ € vizen6 i.£ 
est puissant aujourd'hui; on a de la peine a distinguer le 

" chod/." 


Fig- 27. Text No. 28 (October 8, 1898), written by Mile. Smith, copying a text of 
MatSmi, seen in a visual hallucination. [The slight iremor of some of the lines is 
not in the original, but occurred in the copying of the text in the ink, which was 
written m pencil and too pale for reproduction.] 



Sik6, what (a) faithful bird ! he has thought to reunite him- 
self to us, to live of our happiness ! — Matgmi- faithful, my heart 
is faithful! — Sik6, this boat which the wind brings near with 
force ! it has some difficulty in reaching us ; the current is strong 
to-day ; one has some difficulty in distinguishing the " chodfe." 

Auditive. About the 4th of September, 1898 
(translated October 16). — Hel^ne heard and noted 
this phrase at the same time at which she had the vi- 
sion of the two young Martian people who were walk- 
ing in a kind of flower-garden, and saw a boat arrive, 
like that in Fig. 13. The meaning of chode has 
not been ascertained. 

* 28. men mess Astan6 c6 am&s 6 vi itSch li tfes 

Ami grand Astani, je viens h toi toujours par cet 
aliz€ n^umi assil£ ka ianin^ ezi at&v ni 16 
^Ument mystirieux^ immense^ qui enveloppe mon ^tre et me 
tazi6 € vi med i6e5 6zin6 rabrij ni tibra|. men amfes di 
lance & toi pour toutes mes pensies et besoins. Ami, viens te 
ourad6 k6 Matemi uz£nir ch6e kida ni k6 ch6e brizi pi 
souvenir que Matlmi attendra ta faveur, et que ta sagesse lui 
d6zanir. £vai diving t&s Iun6 
r^pondra. Sots heureux ce jour. 

Friend great Astan6, I come to thee always by this ele- 
ment, mysterious, immense, which envelops my being and 
launches me to thee by all my thoughts and desires. Friend, 
come thou to remember that Matgmi will await thy favor, and 
that thy wisdom will answer him. Be happy to-day. 

Visual. October 3, 1898 (translated October 16). 
— At a quarter before nine in the evening Mile. 
Smith, desiring to obtain a communication from 
Leopold for herself and her mother, sat down in an 
easy-chair and gave herself up to meditation. Pres- 
ently she hears the voice of Leopold telling her that 
he cannot manifest himself that evening, but that 
something much more interesting and important 



is being made ready. The room seems to her to be- 
come completely obscured, except the end of the 
table at which she is sitting, which is illumined with 
a golden light. A young Martian girl in a yellow 
robe and with long tresses then comes and seats 
herself beside her and begins to trace, without ink 
or paper, but with a point on the end of her index- 
finger, black figures on a white cylinder, at first 
placed on the table, afterwards on her knees, and 
which is unrolled as she writes. H61^ne is near 
enough to see the characters clearly, and copies them 
in pencil on a sheet of paper (see Fig. 27), after which 
the vision vanishes and her mother and the room re- 

29. sazeni kich6 nipunez6 dod6 n6 pit lSzir6 bfez 

Sazeni pourquoi craindre ? Ceci est sans souffrance ni 

neura 6vai dastrfie firezi z6 bodri n6 dorim6 z6 

danger^ sois paisible j certainement le os est sain^ le 
pastri tubr€ n6 tux6 
sang seul est malade. 

Sazeni, why fear? This is without suffering or danger, be 
peaceful ; certainly the flesh is well, the blood alone is ill. 

Auditive. October 14, 1898 (translated October 
16). — Morning vision of an unknown gentleman 
and lady, the latter having her arm, spotted with 
red, applied to an instrument with three tubes placed 
on a shelf fastened to the wall. These words were 
spoken by the man ; the lady said nothing. 

30. mods k6 hed on6 chandenS tes6 raiinS ten ti 

Mire, que Us sont delicieux ces moments prh de 
Ti biga va bindiS id6 ti zkm€ tensSe zou rSche 

(oi I Enfant, ou trouve on de meilleurs instants ? plus tard 

med ch6 atfev kiz fouminS zati 
pour ton Hre quel puissant souvenir. 



Mother, how delightful they are, these moments near to 
thee ! — Child, where finds one better moments ? later for thy 
being what (a) powerful remembrance. 

Auditive. October 22, 1898 (translated Decem- 
ber 18). — "At a quarter- past six in the morning; 
vision of a pebbly shore ; earth of a red tint ; im- 
mense sheet of water, of a bluish green. Two 
women are walking side by side. This was all I 
could gather of their conversation." 

Fig. 28. Text No. 31 (October 27, 1898), written by Mile. Smith, 
incarnating Rami^. Natural size. 

*3i. Raraig bisti ti Espenifi ch6 dim6 uni zi 

Ramii habitant de Espinid, ton semblable par la 
trimazi ti6 vadazal di anizi6 bana mira^. Rami£ di 
force des " vadazas," te envoie trots adieux. RamU te 
trinir ti6 toumai ti b6 animina ni tiche di uzir nami 
parlera des charmes de sa existence et bient$t te dira beaucoup 
ti Espeni£. 6vai divin^e 
de EspMid. Sois heureuse ! 

Rami6, dweller in Esp6ni6, thy like, by the force of the "va- 
dazas," sends thee three adieux. Rami6 will speak to thee of 
the charms of his existence, and presently will tell thee much of 
Espfenife. Be happy ! 

Graphic. October 27, 1898 (translated December 
18).— "Ten minutes to one in the afternoon. No 



vision, but a severe cramp in the right arm and a 
strong impulse to take pencil and paper. 1 write, I 
know not why." (It is seen by the translation given 
two months later that the text refers to the first man- 
ifestation of Rami6 and is an announcement of the 
ultra-Martian vision which came a few days later.) 
See Fig. 28. The term vadazas, which has never 
been explained, has not a Martian appearance, and 
appears to have been borrowed from the Hindoo cycle. 
As to Espenie, see text No. 6. 

32. ana 6va! manik£ € b6tin£ mis ti^ attana 

Afaintenant sois attentive a regarder un des mondes 
ka di m6dini€ b£tini6 t^s tapig ni b6e atfev kaviy6 
qui te entourent. Regarde ce ' ' tapi/" et ses etres ^tranges. 
danda ana 

Silence maintenant ! 

Now be attentive to behold one of the worlds which sur- 
round thee. Look at that "tapife" and its strange beings. Si- 
lence now ! 

Auditive. November 2, 1898 (translated Decem- 
ber 18). — H^lene has a morning vision of a Martian 
(Rami6) who encircles her waist with one arm and 
with the other shows her, while speaking these words, 
a strange tableau (tapie) containing extraordinary 
beings speaking the unknown language of the follow- 
ing text. At the moment the vision is effaced Helene 
writes, without perceiving that she has done so, text 
No. 34. (For further details, see the following chap- 
ter on the Ultra-Martian.) 














notn de un homme 





vinia-ti-mis£-biga azani maprini6 imizi krama zia6 

nom de une enfant mal entr^ sous panier bleu 


vinia-ti-mis-zaki datrini6 tuz£ vam£ gami^ 

nom de un animal cach^ vialade triste pleure. 

Branch green — name of a man — sacred — in — name of a child 
— bad — entered — under— basket — blue — name of an animal — hid- 
den — ill — sad — weeps. 

Auditive, as to the non-Martian text (see follow- 
ing chapter) which Helfene heard spoken on the 
2d of November by the strange beings of the tableau 
of the preceding vision. Vocal, as to the Martian 
translation of this text, which was given by Astane 
(incarnated in Helfene and speaking the unknown lan- 
guage by her mouth, followed by its Martian equiva- 

Zrt-uir trc\cif y-r s./i2r 

Fig. 29. Text No. 34 (November 2, 1898), written by Mile. Smith, 
incarnating Ramid. Natural size. 

lent for each word), in the seance of the i8th of De- 
cember, 1898. Immediately after, Astan6 yielded his 
place to Esenale, who in turn repeated the Martian 
phrase, translating it word for word into French by 
the customary process. 
*34. Rami6 di p6drini6 ana n6 6rin6 divin6 

RamU te quitte maintenant, est satisfait, heureux 


t6 Kiun^ ten ti vi. hed dassini^ mis abada ti ch6 

du moment pr}s de toi. II garde un peu de ton 

atfev ni di parezi6 bana miraf. — 6vai divin^e 

hre et te laisse trois adieux. Sois heureuse ! 

Ramife leaves thee now, is satisfied, happy for the moment 
near to thee. He retains a little of thy being and leaves thee 
three adieux. Be happy. 

Graphic. November 2, 1898 (translated December 
18). — H61ene only perceived after its accomplish- 
ment that her hand, which she felt " firmly held," had 
written this text at the close of the preceding vision 
(see Fig. 29). 

35. [A] attana zabin^ pi ten t6 iche tarvini mabur6 

blonde arrie'rtf, tr^s pres dti notre^ langage grassier^ 
nub6 t£ri z^^ at^v [B] Astan^ ezi dab6 foumin£ ni 
curieux comme les etres ! — Astant.', mon niaitre puissant et 
16 ti taka tubr6 n6 bib€ ti z6 umez6 
tout de pouvoir, seul est capable de le faire. 

Hidden world, very near to ours, coarse language, curious 
like the beings. — Astanfe, my powerful master and all powerful, 
alone is capable of doing it. 

Auditive. December 5, 1898 (translated December 
18). — Working by lamp-light at seven o'clock in 
the morning, Helene again had a vision of the Mar- 
tian (Ramie) who had clasped her waist with one arm 
while showing her something with a gesture of the 
other (probablj'^ the tableau of the preceding vision, 
though Helene did not see it) and uttering the first 
phrase of it (A). The second phrase (B) is the reply 
of this same Martian to a mental question of He- 
lena asking him to translate the strange language 
of the other day. (She must, therefore, have un- 
derstood the meaning of the first phrase in order to 
have replied to it by her appropriate mental question.) 



Fig. 30. Text No. 37 (March 24, 1899), written by Mile. Smith, incarnating Astan^. 
[Collection of M. Lemaitre.] Owing to a defect of the stereotype plate a dot is 
lacking on the first letter. 

36. [A] a.6 a.6 a.6 a.€ lassuni€ lami rez£ a.€ a6 a.6 

A/, a/, ai, a/.' — Approche ; void RSai. . . ai, a/, a/, 
a6 nik£ buli^ va n6 ozami£ ziteni primeni — [B] ozami6 
a/, petit Bulii. . . oh est Ozamii? Zitlni, Primeni. . . Ozamii, 
vinia ti mis biga kema ziteni vinia ti tnis6 biga kemisi 

nom de un enfant mdle ; Ziteni, nom de une enfant feme lie ; 

primeni vinia ti mis£ biga kemisi 
Prim/ni, nom de une enfant femelle. 

A6, a6, a6, a6 ! Approach, here is R6z4. . , a§, afe, a6, afe, 
little Bulife. . . where is Ozamife? Zitgni, Primeni.., Ozamife, 
name of a male child ; ZitSni, name of a female child ; Primeni, 
name of a female child. 

Auditive. March 8, 1899 (translated June 4).— H6- 
l^ne heard the phrase (A) during the vision of which 
the description follows. At the translation, as the 
sitters did not at once understand that the three first 
words are proper names, Esenale adds the phrase 
(B) with its French signification. " I was unable to 
go to sleep yesterday evening. At half-past eleven 
everything around me was suddenly lighted up, and 
the vivid light permitted me to distinguish surround- 



ing objects. I arose this morning with a very clear 
remembrance of that which 1 then saw. A tableau 
was formed in that light, and 1 had more before me 
than the interior of a Martian house — an immense 
square hall, around which shelves were fastened, 
or rather little tables suspended and fastened to 
the wall. Each of these tables contained a baby, 
but not at all bundled up ; all the movements of 
these little infants were free, and a simple linen 
cloth was thrown round the body. They might 

i^r^cf ^irv i^ic'r 
Wo iu^na (rrv &efr 

Fig. 31. Text No. 38 (March 30, 1899), written by Mile. Smith copying a text of 
Rami^, who appeared to her in a visual hallucination. [Collection of M. 

be said to be lying on yellow moss. I could not 
say with what the tables were covered. Some men 
with strange beasts were circulating round the hall ; 
these beasts had large fiat heads, almost without 
hair, and large, very soft eyes, like those of seals ; 
their bodies, slightly hairy, resembled somewhat 
those of roes in our country, except for their large 
and flat tails ; they had large udders, to which the 
men present fitted a square instrument with a tube, 
which was offered to each infant, who was thus fed 



with the milk of these beasts. I heard cries, a great 
hurly-burly, and it was with difficulty that I could 
note these few words [of this text]. This vision 
lasted about a quarter of an hour ; then everything 
gradually disappeared, and in a minute after I was 
in a sound sleep." 

*37. Astan^ bounig z£ buzi ti di ttin6 nami ni 

Astani cherche le 7noyen de te parler beaucoi.p ct 
ti di umeze s6imir6 bi tarvini 
de te faire comprendre son langage. 

Astan6 searches for the means to speak to thee much and to 
make thee understand his language. 

Graphic. March 24, 1899 (translated June 4). — 
" Half-past six in the morning. Vision of Astan^. 
I was standing, about to put on my slippers. He 
spoke to me, but I could not understand him. I 
took this sheet of paper and a pencil ; he spoke to 
me no more, but seized my hand which held the 
pencil. I wrote under this pressure ; I understood 
nothing, for this is as Hebrew to me. My hand was 
released ; I raised my head to see Astane, but he had 
disappeared" (see Fig. 30). 

*38. Kdi6 amfes Rami€ di uz£nir t^ lun6 amfes z6 

FMU, viens J RamU te attendra ce jour ; viens, le 
boua trinir 
frhre parlera. 

F6di6, come ; Rami6 will await thee to-day ; come, the brother 
will speak. 

Visual. March 30, 1899 (translated June 4). — 
Seated at her toilet-table, at half-past nine o'clock 
in the evening, H61^ne found herself suddenly en- 
veloped in a rose-colored fog, which hid one part 
of the furniture from her, then was dissipated, al- 



lowing her to see, at the farther end of her room, 
" a strange hall, lighted with rose-colored globes 
fastened to the wall." Nearer to her appeared a 
table suspended in the air, and a man in Martian 
costume, who wrote with a kind of nail fastened to 
his right index-finger. " I lean towards this man ; 
I wish to place my left hand on this imaginary table, 
but my hand falls into empty space, and I have great 
difficulty in restoring it to its normal position. It 
was stiff, and for some moments felt very weak." 
Happily the idea occurred to her to take pencil and 
paper and copy " the characters which the Martian, 
whom I had seen several times before [Ramie], traced; 
and with extreme difficulty — since they were much 
smaller than mine — I succeeded in reproducing them '' 
(the Martian text of Fig. 31). All this lasted about a 
quarter of an hour. I went immediately to bed, and saw 
nothing more that evening, nor on the following day." 

l$£ct oq2irf ^«§Jc ^PWf^ci: ^tr^o 

%ZVri^ do f jic f^t^ ^ — 

Fig. 32. Text No. 39 (April i, 1S99), written by Mile. Smith, incarnating 
Ratni^. [Collection of M. Lemaitre.] Natural size. 

*39. Ramie pond6 acami and^lir t6ri ant^ch 

Rami/, savant astrodome, apfarattra comme hier 
iri 6 vi ana. riz vi bana mira| ti Rami6 ni 
souvent a tot maintenant. Sur toi trois adieux de Rami^ et 
Astan£. 6vai divin^e 
A stani. Sots heureuse ! 



Ramife, learned astronomei;, will appear as yesterday often to 
thee now. Upon thee three adieux from Rami6 and Astanfe. 
Be happy ! 

Graphic. April I, 1899 (translated June 4). — 
"Again, on going to bed at five minutes past ten, a 
new vision of the personage seen day before yes- 
terday [Ramie], I thought he was about to speak, 
but no sound issued from his lips. I quickly take 
pencil and paper, and feel my right arm seized by 
him, and I begin to trace the strange handwriting 
attached hereto (see Pig. 32). He is very affection- 
ate ; his bearing, his look, everything breathes 
both goodness and strangeness. He leaves me 
really charmed." 

40. Ta.mii 6bana dizena zivenig ni bi vraini 

Ramitf^ lentement, profond^ment^ /tudie^ et son d/sir 
assil£ n£ ten ti r^s kalatn^ astan^ ezi dab£ n£ zi 
immense est prh de se accomplir . Astan^ mon Tnaitre est Ih 
med 1€ godan£ ni ankdn£ ^va'i ban^ zizazi divin^e 

pour me aider et r^jouir. Sois trois fois heureuse ! 

Rami6, slowly, deeply studies, and his great desire is near to 
being accomplished. Astan6, my master, is there to aid me and 
to rejoice. Mayst thou be thrice happy ! 

Auditive. June 4, 1899 (translated same seance). — 
Hemisomnambulism, in which H61ene, without hav- 
ing a vision, hears a voice addressing words to her, 
from which, with some difficulty, she collected the 
preceding sentences. 

41. To these texts, forming sentences, in order 
to complete the whole, some isolated words must be 
added, gathered on various occasions, the meaning 
of which is obtained with sufficient certainty, either 
from the French context in which they were framed, 



or from Helene's description of the objects which they 
designated These words are cheke, papier ("pa- 
per ") ; chinit, bague {" ring ") ; asnfete, espece de 
paravent ("land of screen"). Anini Nikaine, proper 
name of a Httle girl (see p. 176), probably the Mar- 
tian sister of Esenale, who floats beside her, invis- 
ible to her, and watches over her during an illness, 
after the fashion of spirit protectors. Beniel, 
proper name of our earth, as seen from Mars (which 
is called Duree in texts 7 and 9). 

III. Remarks on the Martian Language 

Provided the reader has given some attention to 
the foregoing texts, if only to the two first, he un- 
doubtedly will have been easily satisfied as to the 
pretended language of the planet Mars, and perhaps 
will be astonished that I have spent so much time 
upon it. But, as many of the habitues of the seances 
of Mile. Smith — and, naturally. Mile. Smith herself — 
hold seriously to its authenticity, I cannot absolve 
myself from stating why the " Martian " is, in my 
opinion, only an infantile travesty of French. Even 
in default of the astronomical importance which 
is claimed for it on the authority of Leopold, this 
idiom preserves all the psychological interest which 
attaches to automatic products of subconscious activ- 
ities of the mind, and it well deserves some minutes 
of examination. 

It is necessary at the start to render this justice to 
the Martian (1 continue to designate it by that name, 
for the sake of convenience) — namely, that it is, in- 
Q 241 


deed, a language and not a simple jargon or gibberish 
of vocal noises produced at the hazard of the moment 
without any stability. It cannot be denied the follow- 
ing characteristics — First : It is a harmony of clearly 
articulated sounds, grouped so as to form words. Sec- 
ondly : These words when pronounced express def- 
inite ideas. Thirdly, and finally : Connection of the 
words with the ideas is continuous ; or, to put it dif- 
ferently, the signification of the Martian terms is 
permanent and is maintained (apart from slight in- 
consistencies, to which I will return later on) from one 
end to the other of the texts which have been collected 
in the course of these three years.* I will add that in 
speaking fluently and somewhat quickly, as H61fene 
sometimes does in somnambulism (texts4, ii, 15, etc.), 
it has an acoustic quality altogether its own, due to 
the predominance of certain sounds, and has a pecul- 
iar intonation difficult to describe. Just as one dis- 
tinguishes by ear foreign languages which one does 
not understand, the whole dialect possessing a pecul- 
iar accent which causes it to be recognized, so in this 
case one perceives, from the first syllables uttered, 

* If it is objected that the Martian lacks the essential character 
of a language — that is to say, a practical sanction by use ; by the 
fact of its serving as a means of communication between living 
beings — I will not answer, like Mile. Smith, that after all we know 
nothing about that, but will simply say that the social side of 
the question does not concern us here. Even if Volapuk and 
Esperanto are not used, they are none the less languages, and 
the Martian has, in regard to its artificial construction, the psy- 
chological superiority of being a natural language, spontaneous- 
ly created, without the conscious participation, reflective or will- 
ing, of a normal personality. 



whether H^lene is speaking Hindoo or Martian, ac- 
cording to the musical connection, the rhythm, the 
choice of consonants and vowels belonging to each 
of the two idioms. In this the Martian, indeed, bears 
the stamp of a natural language. It is not the result 
of a purely intellectual calculation, but influences of 
an aesthetic order, emotional factors, have combined 
in its creation and instinctively directed the choice of 
its assonances and favorite terminations. The Mar- 
tian language has certainly not been fabricated in 
cold blood during the normal, habitual, French (so 
to speak) state of Mile. Smith, but it bears in its char- 
acteristic tonalities the imprint of a peculiar emo- 
tional disposition, of a fixed humor or psychical Orien- 
tation, of a special condition of mind, which may be 
called, in one word, the Martian state of Helene. The 
secondary personality, which takes pleasure in lin- 
guistic games, seems, indeed, to be the same, at its 
source, as that which delights in the exotic and highly 
colored visual images of the planet of red rocks, and 
which animates the personages of the Martian ro- 

A glance at the ensemble of the foregoing texts 
shows that Martian, as compared with French, is 
characterized by a superabundance of e, e, and i's, 
and a scarcity of diphthongs and the nasal sounds. 
A more accurate statistical table of sounded vowels 
which strike the ear in reading aloud the Martian 
texts on the one hand, and their translation into 
French on the other, gives me the percentages of Table 
I., which follows. But it is well known that the 
vowels are distinguished, from the acoustic point 



of view, by certain fixed characteristic sounds, and 
that they are distributed at different heights in the 
musical scale. 

Table I. — Statistics of Vowel Sounds 


e mute (like those of casemate) .... 
e closed or half - closed (like those of 

hSM, rev^) 

e open (like that of aloh) 



















Diphthongs and nasals {ou, oi, eu, an, 

in, on, un) " 2.1 24.5 

Table II. — Grouping from Point of View of Height 

Martian French 

Vowels, high (j and ^ sounded) . . % 73.3 32.3 

Vowels, middle (a and 0) " 18.6 ig.4 

Vowels, low or hollow (u; diphthongs 

and nasals; « mute) " 8.0 48.4 

i and e are the highest, a and o occupy the middle 
place, u and ou axe found in the lower part of the 
scale. In adding to the latter, therefore, the nasals, 
which are always hollow, and also e mute. Table I. 
divides itself into the three groups of Table II. from 
the point of view of height and sonorousness. It 
is, therefore, clear that the Martian is of a general 
tonality much higher than the French ; since, while 
the two languages have almost the same proportion 
of middle vowels, the low, hollow, or mute sounds, 
which constitute almost one-half of the French vow- 
els, amount to scarcely one-twelfth in Martian, 



in which the high sounds, on the contrary, represent 
in bulk three-quarters of the vowels, against one- 
third only in the French. On the other hand, re- 
searches in the field of colored audition have de- 
monstrated that a close psychological connection 
exists, based on certain emotional analogies and an 
equivalence of organic reactions, between the high 
sounds and the bright or vivid colors, and the low or 
hollow sounds and the sombre colors. But this same 
correlation is found in the somnambulistic life of Mile. 
Smith, between the brilliant, luminous, highly color- 
ed visions which characterize her Martian cycle and 
the language of the high and sonorous vowels which 
gushes forth in the same cycle. It is allowable to 
conclude from this that it is really the same emo- 
tional atmosphere which bathes and envelops these 
varied psychological products, the same personal- 
ity which gives birth to these visual and phonetic 
automatisms. The imagination cannot, however, 
as is easily understood, create its fiction out of noth- 
ing ; it is obliged to borrow its materials from in- 
dividual experience. The Martian tableaux are, 
therefore, only a reflection, of the terrestrial world, 
but of that part of it which possesses the most warmth 
and brilliancy — the Orient; in the same way, the 
Martian language is only French metamorphosed 
and carried to a higher diapason. 

I admit, then, that Martian is a language, and a 
natural language, in the sense that it is automati- 
cally brought forth in the emotional state, or by the 
secondary personality, which is the source of all the 
remainder of the cycle without the conscious par- 



ticipation of Mile. Smith. It remains for me now to 
mention some of the characteristics which seem to 
indicate that the inventor of this subliminal lingu- 
istic work had never known any idiom other than 
French, that it is much more sensible to verbal ex- 
pression than to logical connection of ideas, and 
that it possesses in an eminent degree that infantile 
and puerile character which I have already pointed 
out in the author of the Martian romance. It now 
becomes necessary to examine rapidly this unknown 
language, from the point of view of its phonetics and 
its writing, its grammatical form, its syntax, and its 

I. Martian Phonetics and Handwriting. — Mar- 
tian is composed of articulate sounds, all of which, 
consonants as well as vowels, exist in French. 
While on this globe languages geographically our 
neighbors (not to mention those farther away) differ 
each from the other by certain special sounds — ch, 
German, th, English, etc. — the language of the plan- 
et Mars does not permit of similar phonetic original- 
ities. It seems, on the contrary, poorer in this re- 
spect than the French. As yet I have not found in 
it the hissing j or ge (as in juger), nor the double 
sound X. Martian phonetics, in a word, are only an 
incomplete reproduction of French phonetics. 

The Martian alphabet, compared with ours, sug- 
gests a remarkable analogy. The graphic form of 
the characters is certainly novel, and no one would 
divine our letters in these designs of exotic aspect. 
Nevertheless, each Martian sign (with the single 
exception of that of the plural) corresponds to a 



French sign, although the inverse is not the case, 
which indicates that here again we are in the pres- 
ence of a feeble imitation of our system of hand- 

The twelve written texts upon which I base my 
comparison comprise about 300 words (of which 160 
are different) and 1200 signs. There are altogether 
twenty-one different letters, all of which have their 
exact equivalents in the French alphabet, which also 
has five others which Martian lacks ; j and x, of 
which the sounds themselves have not been ob- 
served, and q, w, and y, of which there is a double 
use, with k, v, and i. This reduction of graphic ma- 
terial manifests itself in two other details. First, 
there are neither accents nor punctuation marks, 
with the exception of a certain sign, resembling the 
French circumflex, used sometimes in the shape of 
a point at the end of phrases. In the second place, 
each letter has only one form, the diversity of cap- 
itals and small letters not seeming to exist in Mar- 
tian. Of ciphers we know nothing. 

There are still three small peculiarities to notice : 

1. In default of capitals, the initials of proper names 
are often distinguished by a point placed above the 
ordinary character. 

2. In the case of double letters the second is re- 
placed by a point situated at the right of the first. 

3. Finally, there exists, in order to designate the 
plural of substantives and of some adjectives, a special 
graphic sign, answering to nothing in the pronuncia- 
tion and having the form of a small vertical undula- 
tion, which reminds one a little of an amplification of 



the French s, the usual mark of the plural in French. 
These peculiarities, outside the ordinary form of the 
letters, constitute the sum total of ingenuity dis- 
played in Martian handwriting. 

It must be added that this handwriting, which is 
not ordinarily inclined, goes from left to right, like 
the French. All the letters are of nearly the same 
height, except that the i is much smaller, and that 
they remain isolated from each other ; their assembly 
into words and phrases offers to the eye a certain 
aspect of Oriental hieroglyphic inscriptions. 

The Martian alphabet never having been revealed 
as such, we are ignorant of the order in which the 
letters follow each other. It would seem as though 
the letters had been invented by following the French 
alphabet, at least in great part, if one may judge 
according to the analogies of form of the Martian 
characters corresponding to certain series of French 
letters : compare a and b ; g and h ; s and t ; and 
also the succession k, I, m, n. 

It is in the phonetic value of the letters— that is to 
say, in the correspondence of the articulated sounds 
with the graphic signs— that the essentially French 
nature of the Martian may be seen. The only notable 
difference to be pointed out here between the two lan- 
guages is the much greater simplicity of the Martian 
orthography, resulting in the employment of no use- 
less letters. All are pronounced, even the final con- 
sonants, such as s, n, z, etc., which are generally silent 
in French. This gives the impression that the Mar- 
tian handwriting is moulded on the spoken language, 
and is only the notation of the articulated sounds 



of the latter by the most economical means. In so 
far it realizes the type of a handwriting truly pho- 
netic — that is to say, where each sign corresponds 
to a certain elementary articulation, constant and in- 
variable, and vice versa. It is full, on the other hand, 
of equivocations, of exceptions, of irregularities, which 
make one and the same letter to have very different 
pronunciations, according to circumstances, and, re- 
ciprocally, which causes the same sound to be written 
in different ways without our being able to perceive 
any rational explanation for all these ambiguities — 
were it not for the fact that the very same thing is to 
be found in French ! 

Martian is only disguised French. I will men- 
tion only the most curious and striking coincidences, 
all the more striking from the fact that the field from 
which 1 have collected them is very limited, being con- 
fined to the dozen texts written and pronounced, which 
contain only i6o different words. 

The simple vowels of the Martian alphabet corre- 
spond exactly to the five French vowels, a, e, i, o, u, 
and have the same shades of pronunciation. 

The Martian c plays the triple part which it also 
fulfils in French. The s has the same capricious 
character as in our language. It is generally hard, 
but between two vowels it becomes soft, like 2. 

2. Grammatical Form.s. — The ensemble of the texts 
which we possess does not as yet permit us to make 
a Martian grammar. Certain indications, however, 
warrant the prediction that the rules of that gram- 
mar, if it ever sees the light of day, will be only the 
counterpart of, or a parody upon, those of French, 



je c6 

me U, ff«oz 


ton ch6 

tu d6 

;*• di, toi vi 

to ch6e 

il hed 

j« rfes, /«j 


/(?j chi 

nous ninl 

mon ezi 

son bi 

vous sini 

wio ez6 

J3 b6 

Us hed 

/«« £zin6 

ses b6e 

on id6 

»o/?-^ iche 

Here, for example, is a list of personal pronouns, 
articles, possessive adjectives, etc., which have ap- 
peared hitherto : 

ce tfes, ces tes6 de ti 
cette tes, tes6e des ti6 
/^ (pron.) z6 du tfi 

^us ka, i7»f; k£ a» ine 
^«^/ kiz, quelle 

»» mis, »»^ niis£ 
le, la les (art.) z6, 

zi, z€e. 

There are some texts where the feminine is derived 
from the masculine by the addition of an e mute, 
and the plural by the small, unpronounced sign, 
which has all the appearance of being a reminiscence 
of French s. 

Between these two languages there is another order 
of points of contact, of a more special interest, because 
it shows the preponderating role which verbal images 
have often played in the making of Martian to the 
prejudice of the intrinsic, logical nature of the ideas. 
1 should say that at all times the Martian translates 
the French word, allowing itself to be guided by audi- 
tive analogies without regard to the real meaning, in 
such a way that we are surprised to discover in the 
idiom of the planet Mars the same peculiarities of 
homonyms as in French. It is also the case that two 
vocables identical as to pronunciation, but of entirely 
heterogeneous signification, as the preposition h and 
the a of the verb avoir, are rendered in Martian by 
the same word, ^. 

Other curious coincidences are to be noted, In 


French the conjunction et only slightly differs, from 
the point of view of phonic images, from the verb est ; 
in Martian also there is a great analogy between ni 
and ne, which translate these two words. Between 
the past participle nie of the verb to he and the con- 
junction ni there is only the difference of an e, just 
as between their French equivalents ete and et. 

It must be admitted that all these coincidences 
would be very extraordinary if they were purely 

3. Construction and Syntax. — The order of the 
words is absolutely the same in Martian as in 
French. This identity of construction of phrases is 
pursued sometimes into the minutest details, such as 
the division or amputation of the negation ne . . . 
pas (texts 15 and 17), and also the introduction of a 
useless letter in Martian to correspond to a French 
euphemistic t (see text 15), K^vi berimir m bed, 
quand reviendra-t-il ? (" when will he return ?") 

If it is admitted hypothetically that the succession 
of words, such as is given us in these texts, is not 
the natural ordering of the Martian language, but 
an artificial arrangement, like that of juxtalinear 
translations for the use of pupils, the very possibility 
of that correspondence absolutely word for word 
would remain an extraordinary fact without a par- 
allel, since there is not a single language that I know 
of in which each term of the French phrase is always 
rendered by one term, neither more nor less, of the 
foreign phrase. The hypothesis referred to is, more- 
over, inadmissible, since the Martian texts, of which 
Esenale gives the literal translation, were not pre- 



viously arranged by him with that end in view; 
they are the identical words which Mile. Smith heard 
and noted in her visions, often weeks and months 
before Esenale repeats them for the purpose of trans- 
lating them, and which constitute the conversation, 
as such, taken from life, of the Martian personages. 
We must conclude from this that these in their elo- 
cution follow step by step and word by word the 
order of the French language, which amounts almost 
to saying that they speak a French the sounds of 
which have simply been changed. 

4. Vocabulary. — From an etymological point of 
view, I have not been able to distinguish any rule of 
derivation, even partial, that would permit the suspi- 
cion that the Martian words had come from French 
words, according to some law. Apart from the entire 
first text, where it is difficult to deny that the peo- 
ple of Mars have stolen French terms of politeness, 
at the same time distorting them, no clear resem- 
blance is to be seen between Martian words and the 
French equivalents; at most, there are traces of bor- 
rowing, like merve, superbe, which might have been 
abridged from merveille (text 25), and vechi, an im- 
itation of voir. 

Still less does the Martian lexicon betray the in- 
fluence of other known languages (at least to my 
knowledge). A term which suggests such similarity 
is hardly ever met with — e.g., mode, mere ("moth- 
er"), and gud6 6on ("good"), cause us to think of 
German or English words ; animina (" existence ") 
is like anima ; various forms of the verbs itre and 
vivre "to be" and "to live"), eve, 6vai, essat, re- 



call the Latin esse or the Hebrew eve, and that pas- 
sage of the Biblical story of the Creation where Eve 
is called the mother of all living beings. A linguist 
who happened to be at the same time a savant and 
a humorist would doubtless succeed in lengthening 
this list of etymologies, after the mode of the eigh- 
teenth century. But, cut bono ? In that rarity of 
points of contact between the idioms of our terres- 
trial sphere and the Martian glossary, an argument 
might be found in favor of the extra - terrestrial 
origin of the latter, if, on the other hand, it did not 
seem to betray the influence of the French language 
from the fact that a notable proportion of its words 
reproduce in a suspicious manner the same number 
of syllables or letters as their French equivalents ; 
note, for example, besides the terms of politeness 
already mentioned, the words tarvine, langage ; 
haudan, maison ; dode, ceci ; valini, visage, etc., and 
the great majority of the little words, such as ce, je ; 
ke, que ; ti, de ; de, tu ; etc. 

With the exception of such examples as these, it 
must be acknowledged that there is no trace of par- 
entage, filiation, of any resemblance whatever be- 
tween the Martian and French vocabularies, which 
forms a singular contrast to the close identity which 
we have established between the two languages in 
the preceding paragraphs. 

This apparent contradiction carries its explana- 
tion in itself, and gives us the key to Martian. This 
fantastic idiom is evidently the naive and some- 
what puerile work of an infantile imagination, to 
which occurred the idea of creating a new language, 



and which, while giving to its lucubrations certain 
strange and unknown appearances, without doubt 
caused them to run in the accustomed moulds of the 
only real language of which it had cognizance. The 
Martian of Mile. Smith, in other words, is the product 
of a brain or a personality which certainly has taste 
and aptitude for linguistic exercises, but which never 
knew that French takes little heed of the logical con- 
nection of ideas, and did not take the trouble to make 
innovations in the matter of phonetics, of grammar, 
or of syntax. 

The process of creation of Martian seems to have 
consisted in simply taking certain French phrases 
as such and replacing each word by some other 
chosen at random. That is why, especially in the 
texts at the beginning, the structure of French 
words is recognized under the Martian. The au- 
thor herself was undoubtedly struck by it, and from 
that time exerted herself to complicate her lexicon, 
to render her words more and more unrecognizable. 

This research of originality — which, however, 
she has never extended beyond the purely material 
part of the language, never having an idea that 
there might be other differences in languages — 
represents an effort of imagination with which she 
must be credited. Homage must also be rendered 
to the labor of memorizing, which the making of a 
dictionary has necessitated. She has sometimes, 
indeed, fallen into errors ; the stability of her vocab- 
ulary has not always been perfect. But, finally, 
after the first hesitation and independently of some 
later confusions, it gives evidence of a praiseworthy 



terminological consistency, and which no doubt 
in time, and with some suggestive encouragement, 
would result in the elaboration of a very complete 
language — perhaps even of several languages, as 
we may augur from text :is, to which we shall re- 
turn in the following chapter. 

5. Style. — It remains to investigate the style. If 
it is true that " manners make the man " — that is to 
say, not the impersonal and abstract understanding, 
but the concrete character, the individual tempera- 
ment, the humor and emotional vibration — we ought 
to expect to find in the style of the Martian texts the 
same special stamp which distinguishes the visions, 
the sound of the language, the handwriting, the per- 
sonages — in short, the entire romance, that is to say, 
the curious mixture of Oriental exoticism and of 
childish puerility of which the secondary person- 
ality of Mile. Smith, at work in this cycle, seems 
to be composed. It is difficult to pronounce upon 
these matters of vague aesthetic impression rather 
than of precise observation ; but, as well as I can 
judge, there seems to me to be in the phraseology 
of the texts collected an indefinable something which 
corresponds well with the general character of the 
entire dream. As these words are evidently first 
thought in French — then travesties in Martian by a 
substitution of sounds, the choice of which, as has 
been seen, apropos of the high tonality of this lan- 
guage, reflects the general emotional disposition — 
it is, naturally, under their French aspect that we 
ought to consider them in judging of their actual 
style. Unfortunately, we do not know how far the 



translation given by Esenale is identical with the 
primitive original ; certain details seem to hint that 
there are divergences sometimes. However that 
may be, it is clearly to be perceived that the literary 
form of the majority of the texts (taken in French) 
is more akin to poetry than to prose. While no one 
of them is in verse, properly speaking, the large 
number of hemistiches which are met with, the fre- 
quency of inversion, the choice of terms, the abun- 
dance of exclamations and of broken phrases, betray 
a great intensity of sentimental and poetic emotion. 
The same character is found, with a strong shade 
of exotic and archaic originality, in the formulas of 
salutation and farewell ("be happy to-day," "three 
adieux to thee," etc.), as well as in many expressions 
and terms of phrases which rather recall the obscure 
and metaphorical parlance of the Orient than the 
dry precision of our language of to-day (" il garde 
un peu de ton ^tre; cet Element mysterieux, immense," 

If, now, it is recollected that everywhere in literary 
history poetry precedes prose, imagination comes be- 
fore reason, and the lyric style before the didactic, a 
conclusion according with that of the preceding 
paragraphs is reached. Which is, that, by its figures 
and its style, the Martian language (or the French 
phrases which serve it for a skeleton) seems to bring 
to us the echo of a past age, the reflex of a primitive 
state of mind, from which Mile. Smith to-day finds 
herself very far removed in her ordinary and normal 
states of mind. 



IV. Mlle. Smith and the Inventor of Mar- 

The preceding analysis of the Martian language 
furnishes its support to the considerations which the 
content of the romance has already suggested to us 
in regard to its author (p. 194). To imagine that by 
twisting the sounds of French words a new language 
capable of standing examination could actually be 
created, and to wish to make it pass for that of the 
planet Mars, would be the climax of silly fatuity or 
of imbecility were it not simply a trait of naive candor 
well worthy of the happy age of childhood. 

The whole Martian cycle brings us into the pres- 
ence of an infantine personality exuberant of imagi- 
nation, sharing, as to their light, color. Oriental exo- 
ticism, the aesthetic tendencies of the actual normal 
personality of Mile. Smith, but contrasting with it 
outside its puerile character in two points to be 

First : It takes a special pleasure in linguistic 
discussions and the fabrication of unknown idioms, 
while H^lene has neither taste nor facility for the 
study of languages, which she cordially detests and 
in which she has never met with success. 

Secondly : Notwithstanding this aversion, Helene 
possesses a certain knowledge, either actual or poten- 
tial, of German — in which her parents caused her to 
take lessons for three years — whereas the author of 
Martian evidently knows only French. It is, in fact, 
difficult to believe that, if that author had only a very 
R 257 


slight knowledge of the German language (so dif- 
ferent from the French by the construction of its 
sentences, pronunciation, its three genders, etc.), that 
some reminiscences of it, at least, would not have 
slipped into its lucubrations. I infer from this that 
the Martian secondary personality which gives evi- 
dence of a linguistic activity so fecund, but so com- 
pletely subject to the structural forms of the mother- 
tongue, represents a former stage, ulterior to the 
epoch at which Helene commenced the study of 

If one reflects, on the other hand, on the great facil- 
ity which Mile. Smith's father seems to have pos- 
sessed for languages (see p. 17), the question natu- 
rally arises whether in the Martian we are not in the 
presence of an awakening and momentary display 
of an hereditary faculty, dormant under the normal 
personality of H61^ne, but which she has not profited 
from in an effective manner. It is a fact of common 
observation that talents and aptitudes often skip a 
generation and seem to pass directly from the grand- 
parents to the grandchildren, forgetting the inter- 
mediate link. Who knows whether Mile. Smith, 
some day, having obtained Leopold's consent to her 
marriage, may not cause the polygot aptitudes of her 
father to bloom again with greater brilliancy, for the 
glory of science, in a brilliant line of philologists and 
linguists of genius? 

Meanwhile, and without even invoking a special 
latent talent in Hel^ne's case, the Martian may be 
attributed to a survival or a reawakening under the 
lash of mediumistic hypnoses of that general func- 



tion, common to all human beings, which is at the 
root of language and manifests itself with the more 
spontaneity and vigor as we mount higher towards 
the birth of peoples and individuals. 

Ontogenesis, say the biologists, reproduces in 
abridged form and grosso-modo phylogenesis ; each 
being passes through stages analogous to those 
through which the race itself passes ; and it is known 
that the first ages of ontogenic evolution — the em- 
bryonic period, infancy, early youth — are more favor- 
able than later periods and adult age to the ephemeral 
reappearances of ancestral tendencies, which would 
hardly leave any trace upon a being who had already 
acquired his organic development. The "poet who 
died young " in each one of us is only the most com- 
mon example of those atavic returns of tendencies 
and of emotions which accompanied the beginnings 
of humanity, and remain the appanage of infant 
peoples, and which cause a fount of variable energy in 
each individual in the spring-time of his life, to con- 
geal or disappear sooner or later with the majority ; 
all children are poets, and that in the original, the 
most extended, acceptation of the term. They create, 
they imagine, they construct — and language is not 
the least of their creations. 

I conclude from the foregoing that the very fact of 
the reappearance of that activity in the Martian 
states of H61ene is a new indication of the infantile^ 
prinutive nature left behind in some way and long 
since passed by her ordinary personality, of the sub- 
liminal strata which mediumistic autohypnotiza- 
tion with her puts in ebulHtion and causes to mount 



to the surface. There is also a perfect accord be- 
tween the puerile character of the Martian romance, 
the poetic and archaic charms of its style, and the 
audacious and naive fabrication of its unknown lan- 



A LL things become wearisome at last, and the 
/ \ planet Mars is no exception to the rule. The 
*■ subliminal imagination of Mile. Smith, how- 
ever, will probably never tire of its lofty flights in 
the society of Astane, Esenale, and their associates. 
I myself, I am ashamed to acknowledge, began, in 
1898, to have enough of the Martian romance. 

Once having satisfied myself as to the essential 
nature of the Martian language, I did not desire to 
make a profound study of it, and since the texts had 
made their appearance so slowly, for two years, as to 
threaten to continue during the remainder of my 
natural existence, as well as that of the medium, 
without coming to an end ; finding, on the other 
hand, that the texts, considered as simple psycho- 
logical curiosities, varied but little and were at length 
likely to become burdensome, I decided to try some 
experiment which, without drying up their source, 
might at least break through this monotony. Up 
to that time, without giving a positive opinion as to 
the Martian, I had always manifested a very real 
interest in these communications, as well as in Mile. 



Smith in her waking state, and in Leopold in his 
incarnations. Both of these showed themselves 
fully persuaded of the objective verity of this lan- 
guage, and of the visions which accompanied it. 
Leopold had not ceased, from the first day, to affirm 
its strictly Martian authenticity. H^l^ne, without 
maintaining absolutely that it came from Mars rath- 
er than from any other planet, shared the same 
faith in the extra-terrestrial origin of these messages; 
and, as appeared from many details of her conver- 
sations and conduct, she saw in it a revelation of the 
loftiest import, which might some day cause " all 
the discoveries of M. Flammarion " to sink into in- 
significance. What would happen if I made up my 
mind to strike this strange conviction a telling blow, 
and demonstrate that the pretended Martian was only 
a chimera, a product, pure and simple, of somnam- 
bulistic autosuggestion ? 

My first tentative experiment, addressed to Leopold, 
had no appreciable influence on the course of the 
Martian cycle. It was at the seance of February 13, 
1898. Hel^ne was profoundly asleep, and Leopold 
was conversing with us by gestures of the arm and 
spelling on the fingers. I categorically informed him 
of my certainty that the Martian was of terrestrial 
fabrication, and that a comparison with the French 
proved it so to be. As Leopold responded by em- 
phatic gestures of dissent, I detailed to him some 
evidences, among others the accord of the two lan- 
guages as to their pronunciation of ch, as to the ho- 
monym of the pronoun and article le. He listened 
to me, and seemed to understand my arguments, 



but he refused to admit the force of these character- 
istic coincidences, and said : " There are some things 
more extraordinary/' and was unwilhng to give up 
the authenticity of the Martian. We stood by our 
respective opinions, and the later texts do not show 
any trace of our interview. It seemed, therefore, 
that it was not through the intervention of Leopold 
that a modification of the Martian romance was to 
be suggested. 

I allowed some months to pass, then tried a dis- 
cussion with H61fene while she was awake. On two 
occasions, in October, 1898, I expressed to her my 
utter skepticism as to the Martian. The first time, 
on the 6th of October, in a visit which I made to her 
outside of any seance, I confined myself to certain 
general objections to it, to which she replied, in sub- 
stance, as follows : First, that this unknown lan- 
guage, by reason of its intimate union with the vi- 
sions, and in spite of its possible resemblances to the 
French, must necessarily be Martian, if the visions 
are. Then nothing seriously opposes that actual 
origin of the visions, and, consequently, of the lan- 
guage itself ; since there are two methods of explain- 
ing this knowledge of a far-off world — namely, com- 
munications properly spiritistic {i. e., from spirits to 
spirits, without material intermediary) the reality 
of which cannot be held to be doubtful ; and clair- 
voyance, that faculty, or undeniable sixth sense, of 
mediums which permits them both to see and hear 
at any distance. Finally, that she did not hold 
tenaciouslj' to the distinctly Martian origin of that 
strange dream, provided it is conceded that it comes 



from somewhere outside herself, it being inadmis- 
sible to regard it as the work of her subconscious- 
ness, since she had not, during her ordinary hfe, 
absolutely any perception whatever, any sentiment, 
not the shadow of a hint of that alleged interior 
work of elaboration to which I persisted in attribut- 
ing it against all the evidence and all common-sense. 

Some days later (October i6th), as Mile. Smith, 
perfectly awake after an afternoon seance, passed 
the evening at my house, and seemed to be in the 
fulness of her normal state, I returned to the charge 
with more of insistence. 

I had until then always avoided showing her the 
full translation of the Martian texts, as well as the 
alphabet, and she only knew by sight, so to speak, 
the Martian handwriting, and was ignorant of the 
value of the letters. 

This time I explained to her in detail the secrets of 
the language, its superficial originalities and funda- 
mental resemblances to French ; the frequent occur- 
rence of i and e, its puerile construction, identical 
with French, even to the slipping in of a super- 
fluous euphonic m between the words bermier and 
bed in order to imitate the expression reviendra-t-il ? 
its numerous caprices of phonetics and homonyms, 
evident reflexes of those to which we are accustomed, 
etc. I added that the visions seemed to me to be also 
suspicious through their improbable analogies with 
that which we see on our globe. Supposing that the 
houses, the vegetation, and the people of Mars were 
constructed on the same fundamental plan as those 
here below, it was nevertheless very doubtful whether 



they had the same proportions and tsrpical aspect ; in 
short, astronomy teaches us that on Mars the physi- 
cal conditions — the length of the year, the intensity 
of weight, etc. — are all other than with us : the last 
point, in particular, should act on all the products, 
natural and artificial, in such a way as to alter 
greatly the dimensions as well as the proportions of 
height and size which are familiar to us. I observed, 
again, that there are doubtless on Mars, as on the 
earth, a great variety of idioms, and the singular 
chance which made Esenale speak a language so 
similar to French was very astonishing. I concluded, 
finally, by remarking that all this was easily ex- 
plicable, as well as the Oriental aspect of the Mar- 
tian landscapes and the generally infantile char- 
acter of that romance, if it were regarded as a work 
of pure imagination, due to a secondary personality 
or to a dream state of Mile. Smith herself, who recog- 
nized having always had " great taste for that which 
is original and connected with the Orient." 

For more than an hour Helene followed my de- 
monstration with a lively interest. But to each new 
reason, after having appeared at first a little discon- 
certed by it, she did not hesitate to repeat, like a tri- 
umphal refrain and as an unanswerable argument, 
that science is not infallible ; that no scientist has yet 
been on Mars ; and that consequently it is impossible 
to affirm with any certainty that affairs there are not 
conformable to her visions. To my conclusion she 
rephed that, as far as concerns Mars or anything 
else, her revelations did not, in any case, spring from 
sources within herself, and that she did not under- 



stand why I was so implacable against that which is 
the most simple supposition, that of their authen- 
ticity, or why I should prefer to it this silly and ab- 
surd hypothesis of an underlying self plotting in her, 
unknown to her, this strange mystification. 

Maintaining all the while that my deductions 
appeared to me strictly correct, I felt bound to admit 
that science is not infallible, and that a voyage to 
Mars could alone solve all our doubts as to what takes 
place there. We parted good friends, but that con- 
versation left me with a very clear impression of the 
complete uselessness of my efforts to make Mile. 
Smith share my conceptions of the subliminal con- 
sciousness. But this, however, neither surprises nor 
grieves me, since from her point of view it is perhaps 
better that she thus believes. 

The following shows, however, that my reasonings 
on that evening, sterile in appearance, were not with- 
out effect. If they have not modified Mile. Smith's 
conscious manner of seeing, and, above all, the opinion 
of Leopold, they have nevertheless penetrated to the 
profound strata where the Martian visions are elab- 
orated, and, acting there as a leaven, have been the 
source of new and unexpected developments. This 
result brilliantly corroborates the idea that the whole 
Martian cycle is only a product of suggestion and 
autosuggestion. Just as formerly the regret of M. 
Lemaltre at not knowing that which passes on other 
planets had furnished the first germ of that lucubra- 
tion, so now my criticisms and remarks on the lan- 
guage and peoples of that upper world served as a 
point of departure for new circuits of H^lfene's sub- 



lirainal imagination. If, in fact, the content of our 
discussion of the i6th of October, which 1 have above 
briefly summed up, is compared with the visions of 
the following months (see beginning with text 30), it 
is clear that these latter contain an evident begin- 
ning of an answer, and are an attempt to satisfy the 
questions which I raised. A very curious attempt 
is there made, naive and infantine, like the whole 
Martian romance, to escape the defects of which I 
complained on that occasion, not by modifying and 
correcting it — that would have been to reverse and to 
contradict herself — but by going beyond it in some 
sort, and by superposing upon it a new construction, 
an ultra- Martian cycle, if I may be perm.itted that 
expression, hinting at the same time that it unfolds 
itself on some undetermined planet still farther away 
than Mars, and that it does not constitute an abso- 
lutely independent narrative, but that it is grafted on 
the primitive Martian romance. 

The suggestive effect of my objections of the i6th 
of October was not immediate, but became a work of 
incubation. Text 30, coming the following week, 
differed but slightly from the preceding, save for the 
absence of a euphonic letter, which, however, had 
been better in place between the words bin die ide, 
trouve-t-on, than in the berimir m bed of text 15, to 
which I had attracted Helene's attention ; possibly 
it is allowable to regard this little detail as a first 
result of my criticisms. The apparition, a little 
later, of a new Martian personage, Rami6, who 
promised H61ene some near revelations as to a 
planet not otherwise specified (text 31), proves that 



the ultra-Martian dream was in process of subcon- 
scious ripening, but it did not burst forth until the 
2d of November (seventeen days after the suggestion 
with which I connect it) , in that curious scene in which 
Ramie reveals to Mile. Smith an unsuspected and 
grotesque world, the language of which singularly 
differs from the usual Martian. The detailed de- 
scription of that strange vision, which Helene sent 
me, is worth the trouble of citing (see also texts 32 

to 35) : 

" I was awakened, and arose about twenty min- 
utes ago. It was about a quarter-past six in the morn- 
ing, and I was getting ready to sew. Then, for an 
instant, I noticed that my lamp was going out, and 
I ended by not seeing anything more. At the same 
moment I felt my waist clasped, strongly held by 
an invisible arm. I then saw myself surrounded 
by a rose-colored light, which generally shows itself 
when a Martian vision is coming. I quickly took 
paper and pencil, which are always within reach on 
my toilet-table, and placed these two things on my 
knees, in case some words should come to be noted. 

"Hardly were these preparations concluded when 
I saw at my side a man of Martian visage and cos- 
tume. It was, in fact, the personage [Rami6] who 
had clasped my waist with his left arm, showing 
me with his right hand a tableau, at first indistinct, 
but which finally outlined itself quite clearly. He 
spoke also some sentences, which I can note very 
well, it seems to me [text 32, where Ramie attracts 
the attention of H61ene to one of the worlds which 
surround him and makes her see strange beings.] 



" I saw then a section of country peopled by men 
altogether different from those which inhabit our 
globe. The tallest of all were three feet high, and 
the majority were an inch or two shorter. Their 
hands were immense, about ten inches long by eight 
broad ; they were ornamented with very long black 
nails. Their feet also were of great size. 

" 1 did not see any tree, any bit of verdure. I saw 
a medley of houses, or rather cabins, of the most 
simple style, all low, long, without windows or doors ; 
and each house had a little tunnel, about ten feet 
long [see Fig. 33] running from it into the earth. 

Fig. 33. Ultra- Martian liouses. Drawn by Mile. Smith after her vision of 
November 2, 1898. 

" The roofs were flat, supplied with chimneys, or 
tubes. The men, with arms and bodies bare, had 
for all clothing only a sort of skirt reaching to the 
waist and supported by a kind of suspenders thrown 
over the shoulders, which were apparently very 
strong. Their heads were very short, being about 
three inches high by six inches broad, and were close 
shaven. They had very small eyes, immense mouths, 
noses like beans. Everything was so different from 
what we are accustomed to in our world that I should 
have almost believed it to be an animal rather than 
a man I saw there, had there not suddenly issued 


FROM INDIA TO THE FLA..... iw^n.o 

from the lips of one of them some words which, 
fortunately — I hardly know how — I was able to note 
down. This vision lasted a quarter of an hour. Then 
I found my waist liberated, but my right hand was 
still firmly held, in order to trace strange characters 
on the paper " (text 34, adieux of Ramie to H61fene). 

A little later there was a continuation, or an 
abortive repetition, of the same vision ; the table did 
not appear distinctly, and Ramie (text 35) contented 
himself with teaching H61ene things concerning 
a world beyond, a near neighbor to Mars, and a 
coarser language, of which Astane alone could fur- 
nish a translation. This is, in effect, what took 
place two weeks later : Astane incarnated himself 
with gestures and peculiar spasmodic movements, 
and repeated (in Helene's ordinary voice) the bar- 
baric text, followed word by word by its Martian 
equivalents, which Esenale, in turn, succeeding 
Astan^, interpreted in French, in his customary 
manner. Leopold also informed us, in reply to a 
question of one of the sitters, that this uncouth and 
primitive world was one of the smaller planets ; but 
it is to be presumed that he would also have answered 
in the affirmative if he had been asked if it were called 
Phobos or Deimos ; and, in short, one of the satel- 
lites of Mars would answer better than the asteroids 
to the globe "very near to ours," of which Rami6 

Up to this point the ultra-Martian messages were 
confined to the preceding. The last texts obtained 
(37 to 40) seem to announce that the end has not been 
reached on that side, and cause us to hope for new 



revelations, when the astronomer Rami6, as the re- 
sult of his having studied under the skilful direction 
of his master Astane, shall be in a position to make 
further discoveries in the Martian sky. Psycho- 
logically speaking, this amounts to saying that the 
process of latent incubation continues ; a new ultra- 
Martian language is in a state of development in 
the subliminal depths. If it bursts forth some day, 
I shall hasten to bring it to the knowledge of the 
scientific world — in another edition of this book. 
For the present I limit myself to remarking how 
much the little ultra-Martian we possess already in- 
dicates the wish to answer my questions of the i6th 
of October. 

I had accused the Martian dream of being a mere 
imitation, varnished with brilliant Oriental colors, 
of the civilized environment which surrounds us — 
and here is a world of terrifying grotesqueness, with 
black soil, from which all vegetation is banished, and 
the coarser people of which are more like beasts 
than human beings. I had insinuated that the peo- 
ple and things of that upper world ought really to 
have other dimensions and proportions than with 
us — and here are the inhabitants of that farther 
world veritable dwarfs, with heads twice as broad 
as they are high, and houses to match. I had 
made allusion to the probable existence of other lan- 
guages, referred to the superabundance in Martian 
of i and e, impeached its syntax and its ch, borrowed 
from the French, etc. — and here is a language abso- 
lutely new, of a very peculiar rhythm, extremely 
rich in a, without any ch at all up to the present mo- 



ment, and of which the construction is so different 
from the French that there is no method of discov- 
ering it. 

This latter point, above all, seems to me to present 
in its apogee the character of childishness and puer- 
ility which clearly shows itself in that unexpected 
appendix to the Martian cycle, as in the entire cycle 
itself. Evidently the nai've subliminal philologist of 
Mile. Smith has been struck by my criticisms on 
the identical order of the words in Martian and in 
French, and has endeavored to avoid that defect in 
her new effort at an unknown language. 

But not knowing in just what syntax and con- 
struction consist, she has found nothing better to 
suit her purpose than the substitution of chaos for 
the natural arrangement of the terms in her thought, 
and the fabrication of an idiom which had decidedly 
nothing in common with the French in this respect. 
Here is where the most beautiful disorder is prac- 
tically a work of art. It has, moreover, succeeded, 
since, even with the double translation, Martian and 
French, of text 33, it is impossible to know exactly 
what is meant. 

It is possibly the little girl Etip who is sad, and 
who weeps because the man Top has done harm 
to the sacred animal Vanem (which had hidden, 
sick, under some green branches), wishing to enter in 
to a blue basket. At least it could not have been the 
branch, the man, or the basket which was sacred, 
the child sick, etc. 

The green branch is out of harmony with a world 
in which, according to Hel^ne's vision, there were 



neither trees nor verdure ; but Esenale has not speci- 
fied whether it means vert or ver, vers, etc., nor wheth- 
er cache and entr^ are participles or infinitives. I 
leave this rebus to the reader and come to my con- 
clusion, which will be brief, since it accords with 
the considerations already given at the end of the 
two preceding chapters. 

The whole Martian cycle, with its special language 
and its ultra-Martian appendix, is only, at bottom, 
a vast product of occasional suggestions on the part 
of the environment, and of autosuggestions which 
have germinated, sprouted, and borne abundant 
fruit, under the influence of incitement from the out- 
side, but without coming to amount to anything but 
a shapeless and confused mass, which imposes on 
one by its extent much more than its intrinsic worth, 
since it is supremely childish, puerile, insignificant 
in all aspects, save as a psychological curiosity. 
The author of this lucubration is not the real adult 
and normal personality of Mile. Smith, who has very 
different characteristics, and who feels herself, in 
the face of these automatic messages, as though in 
the presence of something foreign, independent, 
exterior, and finds herself constrained to believe 
in their objective reality and in their authenticity. 
It seems, indeed, rather a former, infantine, less 
evolved state of H61ene's individuality, which has 
again come to light, renewed its life, and once 
more become active in her Martian somnambulisms. 

It is hardly necessary to add, in conclusion, that 
the whole spiritistic or occult hypothesis seems to 
to me to be absolutely superfluous and unjustified in 
s 273 



the case of the Martian of Mile. Smith. Autosug- 
gestibility set in motion by certain stimulating influ- 
ences of the environment, as we come to see through 
the history of the ultra-Martian, amply suffices to 
account for this entire cycle. 



WHILE the Martian romance is purely a 
work of fantasy, in which the creative 
imagination was able to allow itself free 
play through having no investigation to fear, the 
Hindoo cycle, and that of Marie Antoinette, having 
a fixed terrestrial setting, represent a labor of con- 
struction which was subjected from the start to very 
complex conditions of environments and epochs. 
To keep within the bounds of probability, not to be 
guilty of too many anachronisms, to satisfy the mul- 
tiple demands of both logic and aesthetics, formed 
a particularly dangerous undertaking, and one ap- 
parently altogether beyond the powers of a person 
without special instruction in such matters. The 
subconscious genius of Mile. Smith has acquitted 
itself of the task in a remarkable manner, and has 
displayed in it a truly wonderful and delicate sense 
of historic possibilities and of local color. 

The Hindoo romance, in particular, remains for 
those who have taken part in it a psychological enig- 
ma, not yet solved in a satisfactory manner, because 
it reveals and implies in regard to Helene, a knowl- 
edge relative to the costumes and languages of the 



Orient, the actual source of which it has up to the 
present time not been possible to discover. All the 
witnesses of Mile. Smith's Hindoo somnambulisms 
who are of the same opinion on that subject (several 
refrain from having any) unite in seeing in it a curi- 
ous phenomenon of cryptomnesia, of reappearances 
of memories profoundly buried beneath the normal 
waking state, together with an indeterminate amount 
of imaginative exaggeration upon the canvas of act- 
ual facts. But by this name of cryptomnesia, or res- 
urrection of latent memories, two singularly different 
things are understood. For me it is only a question 
of memories of her present life ; and I see nothing of 
the supernormal in that. For while I have not yet 
succeeded in finding the key to the enigma, I do not 
doubt its existence, and I will mention later certain 
indications which seem to me to support my idea 
that the Asiatic notions of Mile. Smith have a wholly 
natural origin. 

For the observer inclined towards spiritism, on the 
contrary, the sleeping memory which is awakened 
in somnambulism is nothing less than that of a pre- 
vious existence of Mile. Smith, and that piquant ex- 
planation, which was first given by Leopold, profits 
in their eyes from the impossibility which I find in 
proving that it is anything else. 

Doubtless, if one was familiar with all the incidents 
of H61tee's life from her earliest childhood, and if it 
were absolutely certain that her knowledge of India 
had not been furnished her from the outside, through 
the normal channel of the organs of sense, it would 
be necessary to seek elsewhere for the solution of the 



riddle, and to choose between the hypothesis of an 
atavic memory, hereditarily transmitted across fif- 
teen generations, and actual telepathic communica- 
tion with the brain of some Indian savant, or a spirit- 
istic reincarnation. But we do not find ourselves 
in that position. There is nothing less known, in its 
details, than the daily life of Mile. Smith in her child- 
hood and youth. But, when all the feats of which 
the subconscious memory of our present life is capable 
are considered, it is not scientifically correct to have 
recourse to a pretended " anteriority," of which the 
only guarantee is the authority of Leopold, in order 
to explain the somnambulistic apparitions of facts 
of which Mile. Smith in her waking state has no re- 
membrance, I admit, but the origin of which may 
well have been hidden in the unknown recesses of 
her past life (reading, conversation, etc. ) . 

The plot of the Hindoo romance, which I have al- 
ready briefly hinted at on divers occasions, is as 
follows : 

Helene Smith was, at the end of the fourteenth cen- 
tury of our era, the daughter of an Arab sheik, pos- 
sibly named Pirux, whom she left in order to become, 
under the name of Simandini, the eleventh wife 
of Prince Sivrouka Nayaka, of whom I have the 
honor to be the actual reincarnation. (I pray the 
reader once for all to pardon me the immodest role 
which has been imposed upon me in this affair 
against my will.) 

This Sivrouka^ who reigned over Kanara, and built 
there, in 1401, the fortress of Tchandraguiri, does not 
seem to have been a very accommodating person ; 



although not bad at heart, and quite attached to his 
favorite wife, he had a wild humor and very uncouth 
manners. More could not be expected of an Asi- 
atic potentate of that epoch. Simandini, neverthe- 
less, passionately loved him, and at his death she 
was burned alive on his grave, after the fashion of 

Around these two principal personages are grouped 
some secondary figures, among others a faithful 
domestic named Adel, and a little monkey, Mitidja, 
which Simandini had brought to India with her from 
Arabia ; then the fakir Kanga, who occupies a much 
more important place in the Martian romance, in 
which we have seen him reincarnated as Astan6, 
than in the Hindoo cycle. 

Some other individuals, all masculine — Mougia, 
Miousa, Kangia, Kana — appear in obscure roles, 
concerning which nothing certain can be said. 

The hypnoid states, in which this romance has 
manifested itself with Hel^ne, present the greatest 
variety and all degrees, from the perfect waking 
state (apparently), momentarily crossed by some 
visual or auditive hallucination, the memory of which 
is preserved intact and allows a detailed description, 
up to total somnambulism, with amnesia upon awak- 
ening, in which the most striking scenes of ecstasies 
or incarnations are unfolded. We shall see divers 
examples in the following pages. 


I. Apparition and Development of the 
Oriental Cycle 

Without recurring to the strange and Httle-known 
visions which aheady haunted the childhood and 
youth of Mile. Smith (see pp. 20-25), I will retrace the 
principal stages of her Asiatic romance from the 
birth of her mediumship. 

During the three first years there were but few 
manifestations of this sort, in the seances, at least, 
while as to the automatisms which developed at 
other times, especially at night, or in the hypna- 
gogic state, we know nothing. 

In November, 1892, two seances of the N. group 
are occupied with the apparition of a Chinese city — 
Pekin, according to the table — in which a disincar- 
nate spirit, a parent of one of the group, is found 
performing a mission to a sick child. 

In her seances of 1894, Hel^ne had on several oc- 
casions detached visions belonging to the Orient, 
as appeared from their content, or hints dictated by 
the table. She also saw Teheran ; then the cemetery 
of the missions at Tokat (June 12th); a cavalier with 
a white woollen cloak and a turban bearing the 
name of Abderrhaman (September 2d) ; and, finally, 
an Oriental landscape, which depicted a ceremony of 
Buddhist aspect (October i6th). This latter vision, 
more especially, seemed to be a forerunner of the 
Hindoo romance, since the records of the seances 
of that period show an ensemble of characteristic 
traits which will be again met with in the later Hin- 



doo scenes — e.g., an immense garden of exotic plants, 
colonnades, rows of palm-trees, with enormous stone 
lions at the head ; ru^s of magnificent design, a 
temple surrounded by trees, with a statue, apparent- 
ly that of Buddha ; a procession of twelve women 
in white, who kneel, holding lighted lamps ; in the 
centre another woman, with very black hair, detaches 
herself from the procession, balances a lamp, and 
burns a powder which expands into a white stone 
(the continuation of the romance shows this woman 
to be Simandini, of whom this was the first appear- 
ance) . 

February 17, 1895. — At the end of a rather long 
seance, the table dictates Pirux sheik, and replies to 
our questions that it refers to an Arab sheik of the 
fifteenth century. At this moment H616ne awakes, 
saying that she had seen a man with a black mustache 
and curly hair, wearing a cloak and a turban, who 
seemed to be laughing at and mocking her. The 
spelling out of Pirux was not very clear, and Leopold, 
when interrogated later, neither affirmed categori- 
cally, nor did he deny, that this name was that of 
the sheik, father of Simandini. 

March 3. — Seance with six persons present, all 
having their hands upon the table. After a brief 
waiting, H61fene is surprised at no longer being able 
to see my left middle finger, while she can see all my 
other fingers quite clearly. My bunch of keys, 
which I then place upon my middle finger, likewise 
disappears from her view. This verj^ limited, sys- 
tematic, visual anaesthesia authorizes the predic- 
tion, following numerous examples of former seances, 



that the phenomena about to appear will concern 
me. Presently begins a long vision, consisting of 
scenes which Helene believes she has already partial- 
ly seen before. 

She describes a pagoda, which she draws with her 
left hand, with a few strokes of her pencil; then an 
avenue of palms and statues, a procession, and cere- 
monies before an altar, etc. 

The principal roles are played by a personage in 
sandals, a great yellow robe, a helmet of gold, orna- 
mented with precious stones (first appearance of 
Sivrouka) and by the woman with black hair and 
white robe, already seen on the 12th of October (Si- 
mandini) . 

In the first part of the vision, Helene, who follows 
that woman with ecstatic gaze, describing her to us^ 
sees her coming towards me, but at that moment 
the invisibility of my finger was extended to my 
entire person, and Helene neither sees nor hears me. 
While she was fully conscious of the other sitters, 
she was astonished at seeing this woman make " on 
the empty air " certain gestures of laying-on of hands 
and benediction, which were made upon my head- 
On several occasions I change my place, and seat 
myself in different parts of the room. Each time, 
after a few seconds, Helene turns towards me, and, 
without perceiving me, sees the woman with black 
hair place herself behind my seat and repeat her 
gestures of benediction in space, at a height corre- 
sponding to that of my head. 

As the vision continues, I do not play any further 
role, but it has to do with a ceremony during which 

38 1 


the Hindoo woman with a diadem on her head bums 
incense in the midst of her twelve companions, etc. 

During all this time the table, contrary to its cus- 
tom, gave no explanation; but Helene, having her- 
self asked some questions, remarks that the imagi- 
nary woman replies to her by certain signs of her 
head and reveals to her many things that she had 
known in a former existence. At the moment of the 
disappearance of the vision, which had lasted more 
than an hour. Mile. Smith hears the words (" Until 
presently "). The continuation, in fact, was not long 

March 6. — Repetition and continuation of the pre- 
ceding seance, with this degree of progress — viz., that 
the visual hallucination of the woman with the black 
hair was changed into a total coenaesthetic halluci- 
nation — I. e., instead of a simple vision an incarna- 
tion was produced. After a very impressive scene of 
benediction; Helene gave herself up to a succession 
of pantomimes in which she seemed to take part in 
a fearful spectacle and to struggle with enemies 
(scene of the funeral pile). She ended by seating 
herself on the divan when she recovered her normal 
state, after a series of psychical oscillations, various 
attitudes, etc. The last of her phases of mimicry 
was to tear off and throw away all the ornaments 
which an Asiatic princess could wear — rings on all 
her fingers, bracelets on her arms and wrists, a neck- 
lace, diadem, ear-rings, girdle, anklets. Once awake, 
she had no recollection of the scene of benediction, 
but recalled quite distinctly the dreams corresponding 
to the other pantomimes. She saw again the black- 



haired woman, the Oriental landscape of the preced- 
ing seance, etc. In the course of her description the 
passage of the simple vision into the scene of incarna- 
tion was reflected in a change of the form of her narra- 
tive ; she spoke to us of the woman in the third person, 
then suddenly adopted the first person, and said "I" 
in recounting among other things that she — or the 
black-haired woman — saw a corpse on the funeral 
pile, upon which four men, against whom she strug- 
gled, endeavored to force her to mount. When I 
drew her attention to this change of style, she re- 
plied that, in fact, it seemed as though she herself 
was that woman. 

Independently of the Hindoo romance, these two 
seances are interesting from a psychological point of 
view, because the change from a visual, objective hal- 
lucination into total ccenaesthetic and motor halluci- 
nation occurs in it, constituting a complete trans- 
formation of the personality. This generalization 
of partial automatism at the beginning, this subju- 
gation and absorption of the ordinary personality 
by the subliminal personality, does not always pro- 
duce amnesia with Helene, that unique impression 
which she might describe on awakening as being 
herself and some one else at the same time. (Com- 
pare, p. 119.) It must be noted that in the partic- 
ular case of the identification of the black-haired 
Hindoo woman with Mile. Helene Smith of Geneva, 
the problem of the causal connection is susceptible of 
two opposite solutions (and the same remark will be 
equally appropriate in the case of Marie Antoinette) . 

For the believing spiritist it is because Mile. Smith 


is the reincarnation of Simandini — that is to say, 
because these two personages, in spite of the separa- 
tion of their existences in time and space, are sub- 
stantially and metaphysically identical — that she 
really again becomes Simandini, and feels herself to 
be a Hindoo princess in certain favorable somnam- 
bulistic states. For the empirical psychologist it is, 
on the contrary, because the visual memory of a 
Flindoo woman (her origin is of no importance) grows 
like a parasite and increases in surface and in depth 
like a drop of oil, until it invades the whole impres- 
sionable and suggestible personality of the medium 
— this is why Mile. Smith feels herself becoming this 
woman, and concludes from it that she formerly 
actually was that person (see p. 28—30). But we 
must return from this digression to the Hindoo 

March 10. — After various waking visions relating 
to other subjects, Hdl^ne enters into somnambulism. 
For twenty minutes she remains seated with her 
hands on the table, by means of raps struck upon 
which Leopold informs us that a scene of previous 
existence concerning me is being prepared ; that I 
was formerly a Hindoo prince, and that Mile. Smith, 
long before her existence as Marie Antoinette, had 
then been my wife, and had been burned on my 
tomb ; that we should ultimately know the name 
of this Hindoo prince, as well as the time and place 
of these events, but not this evening, nor at the next 
seance. Then Helene leaves the table, and in a silent 
pantomime of an hour's duration, the meaning of 
which, already quite clear, is confirmed by Leopold, 



she plays, this time to the very close, the scene of 
the funeral pile as outlined in the preceding se- 

She goes slowly around the room, as if resisting 
and carried away in spite of herself, by turns sup- 
plicating and struggling fiercely with these fictitious 
men who are bearing her to her death. 

All at once, standing on tiptoe, she seems to as- 
cend the pile, hides, with affright, her face in her 
hands, recoils in terror, then advances anew as though 
pushed from behind. Finally she falls on her knees 
before a soft couch, in which she buries her face cov- 
ered by her clasped hands. She sobs violently. By 
means of her little finger, visible between her cheek 
and the cushion of the couch, Leopold continues to 
reply very clearly by yes and no to my questions. 
It is the moment at which she again passes through 
her agony on the funeral pile : her cries cease little 
by little; her respiration becomes more and more 
panting, then suddenly stops and remains suspended 
during some seconds which seem interminable. It 
is the end ! Her pulse is fortunately strong, though 
a little irregular. While I am feeling it, her breath- 
ing is re-established by means of a deep inspiration. 
After repeated sobs she becomes calm, and slowly 
rises and seats herself on a neighboring sofa. This 
scene of fatal denouement lasted eight minutes. She 
finally awakens, remembering to have seen in a dream 
the dead body of a man stretched on a funeral pile, 
and a woman whom some men were forcing to as- 
cend the pile against her will. 

There was nothing Oriental in the succeeding se- 


ances, and the Hindoo dream did not appear again 
until four weeks later. 

April 7. — Mile. Smith went quickly into a mixed 
state, in which the Hindoo dream was mingled and 
substituted, but only so far as concerns me, for the 
feeling of present reality. She believes me absent, 
asks other sitters why I have gone away, then rises 
and begins to walk around me and look at me, very 
much surprised at seeing my place occupied by a 
stranger with black curly hair and of brown com- 
plexion, clothed in a robe with flowing sleeves of 
blue, and with gold ornaments. When I speak to 
her she turns around and seems to hear my voice 
from the opposite side, whither she goes to look for 
me ; when I go towards her she shuns me ; then, 
when I follow her, she returns to the place I had just 
left. After some time occupied in these manoeuvres 
she ceases to be preoccupied with me and my sub- 
stitute in the blue robe, and falls into a deeper state. 
She takes on the look of a seeress, and describes a 
kind of embattled chateau on a hill, where she per- 
ceives and recognizes the before-mentioned person- 
age with the curly hair, but in another costume and 
surrounded by very ugly black men, and women 
" who are good looking." 

Interrogated as to the meaning of this vision, Leo- 
pold replies : " The city of Tchandraguiri in Kana- 
raau " {sic) ; then he adds, a moment later, " There is 
a letter too many in the last word," and ends by giving 
the name Kanara, and adding the explanation " of 
the fifteenth century." Upon awaking from this som- 
nambulistic state, which lasted two hours, H61ene re- 



calls having had a dream of a personage with curly 
hair, in a blue robe, richly ornamented with precious 
stones, with a cutlass of gold, bent backward, sus- 
pended from a hook. She recollects having held 
a long conversation with him in a strange language 
which she understood and spoke very well herself, 
although she no longer knows the meaning of it. 

April i4.^Very soon passing into a deep sleep. 
Mile. Smith leaves the table and gives herself up to 
a silent pantomime, at first smiling, then finishing 
in sadness and by a scene of tears. 

The meaning of this is explained by Leopold as 
follows : H^lfene is in India, in her palace of Tchan- 
draguiri, in Kanara, in 1401, and she receives a 
declaration of love from the personage with the curly 
hair, who is the Prince Sivrouka Nayaka, to whom 
she has been married for about a year. The prince 
has flung himself upon his knees, but he inspires 
in her a certain fright, and she still regrets having 
left her native country in order to follow him. Leo- 
pold affirms that she will remember, on awaking^ 
in French, all that the prince has said to her in San- 
scrit, and that she will repeat to us a part of it, but 
not all, because it is too private. After awaking 
she seems in reality to recall clearly her entire 
dream, and tells us that she found herself on a hill, 
where they were building ; that it was not exactly a 
city, nor even a village, since there were no streets ; 
that it was rather an isolated place in the country, 
and that which was being built was not in the form 
of a house; it had holes rather than windows (a 
fortress and loop-holes). 



She found herself in a fine palace, very beautiful 
as to its interior, but not its exterior. There was 
a great hall, decorated with greens, with a grand 
staircase at the end, flanked by statues of gold. 
She held a long conversation there, not in French, 
with the swarthy personage with the black curly 
hair and magnificent costume ; he finally ascended 
the staircase, but she did not follow him. 

She appeared to recall well the meaning of all that 
he said to her in their conversation in a foreign lan- 
guage, but seemed embarrassed by these memories, 
and would not consent to relate them to us. 

May 26. — In the course of this seance, as H^l^ne, 
in a silent somnambulism, incarnates the Hindoo 
princess, I hand her a sheet of paper and a pencil 
in the hope of obtaining some text or drawing. After 
divers scribblings she traces the single word Sima- 
dini in letters which are not at all like her usual 
hand (see Fig. 34). 


Fig- 34- 

Then taking a fresh sheet, she seems to write on 
it with a happy smile, folds it carefully and thrusts 
it in her corsage, takes it out again, and rereads it 
with rapture, etc. Leopold informs us that Simadini 
is the name of the Hindoo princess, and that she is 
reading a love-letter from Sivrouka. On awaking 



she remembers having been " in such a beautiful 
palace," and of having received there a very interest- 
ing letter, but the contents of which she refused to 
disclose to us, being evidently too confidential. 

1 intercalate here two remarks apropos of the name 
Simadini, which is one of the first known examples 
of a handwriting of Mile. Smith other than her own 
normal hand. 

First : When, four months later, Leopold began to 
communicate in writing (pp. 98-103), a certain analogj^ 
in the formation of the letters, and the identical way 
of holding the pencil, caused us to believe that it was 
he who had already traced the word in Fig. 34. But 
he has always denied it, and we have never been able 
to discover the author of it. Secondly : 1 said above, 
(p. 204), that there had been divergences in the 
orthography of this name. Here, in substance, is a 
fragment of a letter which Mile. Smith wrote me in 
the winter following (February 18, 1896), depicting 
to me the vexatious impressions which she still had 
concerning it. 

" . .1 am very sad, and I cannot tell why. I 
have a heavy heart, and for what reason I do not know 
myself. It came to such a pass to-day (you are going 
to laugh) that it seemed to me as though my left 
cheek had grown perceptibly thinner. I am sure 
that at this moment you would not recognize Sima- 
dini, so piteous and discouraged is her countenance ! 
Think, that at the very moment in which I trace these 
words, I hear a voice speaking to me in my right ear : 
"Not Simadini, but Simandini ! What do you 
think that can be ? It is very strange, is it not ? 

T 289 


Have we misunderstood that name ? Or, perhaps, 
may it not be I who have misunderstood it ? . . . " 

Mile. Smith here forgets that the name did not 
come to her on the first occasion by auditive hallu- 
cination, in which case it might be that she had mis- 
understood it, but by writing in somnambulism, 
which excludes any mistake of her ordinary con- 
sciousness. We must confine ourselves to register- 
ing as a fact, inexplicable hitherto, this correction of 
a graphic automatism by an auditive automatism at 
the end of several months. Between the two orthog- 
raphies, I have adopted the second, which has un- 
dergone no further changes, and figures only in the 
Martian texts (lo, i6). 

June i6. — Fuller repetition of the scene of the letter 
of the Hindoo prince. Impossible to learn the con- 
tents of it. I suggest to her to remember and to relate 
them to us upon awakening, but Leopold replies : 
"She will not reveal it. Why have you not gained her 
confidence sufficiently, that she may tell you everything 
without fear ?" and the suggestion had no effect. 

June 30.^ — Somnambulism with silent pantomime, 
the meaning of which is given by Leopold : It is the 
scene of the betrothal of Simandini and Sivrouka at 
Tchandraguiri. There is first a phase of oppres- 
sion, with sighs and gestures as of a struggle against 
various pretenders who wish to seize her; then 
laughter and ecstasy, provoked by the arrival of 
Sivrouka, who delivers her and drives off his rivals ; 
finally, joy and admiration on accepting the flowers 
and jewels which he offers her. 

I have reported, too much at length perhaps, 



though still greatly abridged, these first appearances 
of the Oriental romance, because they form a con- 
tinuous series, in the reverse of the chronological 
order, conformably to a spiritistic theory which holds 
that in these memories of previous existences the 
mediumistic memory goes back and recovers the 
" images " of the more recent events before those 
which are more remote. During this first period of 
four months, the Hindoo cycle made irruption into 
eight seances (about one-twentieth of those at which 
I have been present since I have had knowledge of 
them), and has manifested itself somewhat like the 
panorama of a magic lantern, unfolding itself in 
successive tableaux. 

This whole history can be summed up by a few 
principal tableaux : there was the scene of the death 
on the funeral pile, prepared in vision in the seance 
of the 6th of March and executed on the lOth; then 
the scene of the interior of the palace and the fortress 
in process of construction (7th and 14th of April) ; 
that of the love-letter (26th of May and i6th of 
June); finally, the betrothal (30th of June). There 
must be added to these the grand tableau at the be- 
ginning, first presented in vision the 3d of March, 
then realized three days later with the astonishing 
exclamation Atieya Ganapatinama. The meaning 
of this scene has never been explained by Leopold, 
but seems to be quite clear. A species of prologue 
can be seen in it, or even apotheosis, inaugurating 
the entire romance ; it is the Hindoo princess of four 
centuries ago recognizing her lord and master in flesh 
and blood, under the unexpected form of a university 



professor, whom she greets with an emphasis wholly 
Oriental in blessing him, very appropriately, in the 
name of the divinity of science and of wisdom — since 
Ganapati is an equivalent of Ganesa, the god with 
the head of an elephant, patron of sages and savants. 
It can be easily conceived that these two words of 
Oriental resonance, spoken aloud at a period at which 
the Martian was not yet born — and followed by all 
the conversations unfortunately unheard by us, 
which at the waking at the subsequent seances 
Helene recalled having held in a strange language 
(in Sanscrit, according to Leopold) with the Hindoo 
prince of her dreams — would excite a lively curi- 
osity and a desire to obtain longer audible fragments 
of this unknown idiom. It was only in September, 
1895, that this satisfaction was afforded us, during 
a seance at which the Oriental romance, which had 
given no further sign of life since the month of June, 
made a new outbreak. Starting from that moment, 
it has never ceased during these four years to re- 
appear irregularly, and, suffering some eclipses, 
accompanied on each occasion by words of a San- 
scritoid aspect. But the plot of the romance has 
no longer the same clearness that it showed at the 
beginning. In place of tableaux linking themselves 
in a regular chronological order, they are often no 
more than confused reminiscences, memories, without 
precise bonds between them, which gush forth from 
the memory of Simandini. As the fragments of our 
youthful years surge up incoherent and pell-mell 
in our dreams, Mile. Smith, too, finds herself easily 
assailed in her somnambulisms by visions con- 



nected with certain episodes, and not forming an 
entire continuation of supposed Asiatic pre-existence. 
Some of these scenes concern her Hfe as a young 
Arab girl. One sees her there, for example, play- 
ing joyoush' with her little monkey, Mitidja ; or 
copying an Arab text (see Fig. 35, p. 312), which 
her father, the sheik, surrounded by his tribes, fur- 
nishes her ; or embarking on a strange boat, escorted 
by black Hindoos, for her new country, etc. But 
much the larger number of her somnambulistic 
trances and her spontaneous visions have reference 
to her life in India and to the details of her daily ex- 
istence. Her bath, which the faithful domestic Adel 
prepares for her ; her walks and reveries in the 
splendid gardens of the palace, all full of a luxurious 
vegetation and rare birds of brilliant colors : her 
scenes of tenderness and of affectionate effusions — 
always stamped, this is to be noted, with the most 
perfect propriety — towards the Prince Sivrouka, 
when he is kindly disposed ; scenes of regret also 
and abundant tears for the memory of her far-off 
native land, when the capricious and brutal humor 
of the Oriental despot makes itself too severely felt ; 
conversation with the fakir Kanga ; devotions and 
religious ceremonies before some Buddhist image, 
etc., all this forms an ensemble extremely varied 
and full of local color. There is in the whole being 
of Simandini — in the expression of her countenance 
(Helene almost always has her large eyes open in 
this somnambulism), in her movements, in the qual- 
ity of her voice when she speaks or chants Hin- 
doo — a languishing grace, an abandon, a melan- 



choly sweetness, a something of languor and of 
charm, which corresponds wonderfuUy with the 
character of the Orient, as the spectators conceive 
it to be, who, hke me, have never been there, etc. 
With all this a bearing always full of noblesse and 
dignity conforms to that which one would expect of 
a princess ; there are no dances, for example, noth- 
ing of the bayadere. 

Mile. Smith is really very wonderful in her Hindoo 
somnambulisms. The way in which Simandini 
seats herself on the ground, her legs crossed, or half 
stretched out, nonchalantly leaning her arms or her 
head against a Sivrouka, who is sometimes real 
(when in her incomplete trance she takes me for 
her prince), sometimes imaginary ; the religious 
and solemn gravity of her prostrations when, after 
having for a long time balanced the fictitious 
brazier, she crosses her extended hands on her 
breast, kneeling and bowing herself three times, 
her forehead striking the ground; the melancholy 
sweetness of her chants in a minor key, wailing and 
plaintive melodies, which unfold themselves in cer- 
tain flute-like notes, prolonged in a slow decrescendo, 
and only dying away at the end of a single note held 
for fully fourteen seconds ; the agile suppleness of 
her swaying and serpentine movements, when she 
amuses herself with her imaginary monkey, caresses 
it, embraces it, excites it, scolds it laughingly, and 
makes it repeat all its tricks — all this so varied mim- 
icry and Oriental speech have such a stamp of orig- 
inality, of ease, of naturalness, that one asks in 
amazement whence it comes to this little daughter 



of Lake Leman, without artistic education or special 
knowledge of the Orient — a perfection of play to which 
the best actress, without doubt, could oiily attain at 
the price of prolonged studies or a sojourn on the 
banks of. the Ganges. 

The problem, as I Jiave already stated, is not yet 
solved, and I am obliged still to endeavor to discover 
whence Helene Smith has derived her ideas in regard 
to India. It seems that the more simple method 
would be to take advantage of the hypnotic state of 
the seances to obtain a confession from Helene's 
subconscious memory, and persuade it to disclose 
the secret ; but my efforts in that direction have not 
as yet succeeded. It is doubtless incompetency on 
my part, and I will end, perhaps — or some one better 
qualified than I — in finding the joint in the armor. 
The fact is that hitherto I have always run up 
against Leopold, who will not allow himself to be 
ejected or ridiculed, and who has never ceased to 
affirm that the Sanscrit, Simandini, and the rest 
are authentic. All the trails which I have thought 
I have discovered — and they are already numerous — 
have proved false. The reader must pardon me for 
not going into the details of my failures in this 

If it was only a question of the Hindoo pantomime 
the mystery would not be so great : some recitations 
at school, newspaper articles concerning the incinera- 
tion of the widows of Malabar, engravings and de- 
scriptions relative to the civil and religious life of 
India, etc. — in short, the varied sources of informa- 
tion which, in a civilized country and at our epoch 



of cosmopolitanism, inevitably meet some time or 
other the eyes or ears of every one of us and form 
part of the equipment (conscious or unconscious) of 
every individual who is not altogether uncultured, 
would more than suffice to explain the scene of the 
funeral pile, the prostrations, and the varied atti- 
tudes. There are, indeed, some well-known examples 
showing how small a th'ng a cunning intelligence, 
furnished with a good memory and a fertile and 
plastic imagination, needs in order to reconstruct 
or fabricate out of nothing a complex edifice, having 
every appearance of authenticity, and capable of 
holding in check for a considerable length of time 
the perspicacity even of skilled minds. But that 
which conscious and reflecting labor has succeeded 
in accomplishing in the cases referred to, the sub- 
liminal faculties can execute to a much higher de- 
gree of perfection in the case of persons subject to 
automatic tendencies. 

But two points remain, which compl'cate the case 
of the Hindoo romance and seem to defy — thus far, at 
least — all normal explanation, because they surpass 
the limits of a simple play of the imagination. These 
are the precise historical information given by Leo- 
pold, some of which can be, in a certain sense, veri- 
fied; and the H ndoo language spoken by Simandini, 
which contains words more or less recognizable, the 
real meaning of which is adapted to the situation in 
which they have been spoken. But, even if H^l^ne's 
imagination could have reconstructed the manners 
and customs and scenes of the Orient from the general 
information floating in some way in cosmopolitan 



atmosphere, still one cannot conceive whence she 
has derived her knowledge of the language and of 
certain obscure episodes in the history of India. 
These two points deserve to be examined sepa- 


When Kanara, Sivrouka, Simandini, etc., suc- 
cessively made their appearance, slowly spelled out 
by Leopold, with the date of 1401, my companions 
of the seance and I hastened to investigate Brouillet, 
who brought to mind the province of Malabar in con- 
nection with the first of these names, but left us in 
utter darkness as to the others. The geography 
of Vivien Saint-Martin revealed the existence of no 
fewer than three Tchandraguiris — a hill, a river, and 
a small town in the district of Arcot-Nord (Madras). 
The latter — or rather its citadel on the summit of the 
hill — answered quite well to the description given by 
Helene in her visions of the 7th and 14th of April, 
but the construction of this fortress dates back only 
to 1510, and this locality is very far removed from the 
Kanara where Leopold locates this entire story (see 
pp. 286-288). 

As to Sivrouka and his surroundings, neither bio- 
graphical dictionaries nor encyclopaedias were able 
to furnish me the least hint on this subject. Living 
historians or Or entalists to whom I addressed myself 
were of a discouraging unanimity in replying that 
they did not recognize even the names, the historic 
correctness of which they regarded as doubtful, and 



they did not at all remember having met with them 
in works of fiction. 

" I have there," said a learned professor of his- 
tory, showing me a good-sized bookcase, " numer- 
ous works on the history of India ; but they relate 
only to the north of the peninsula ; and as to what 
transpired in the south during the period to which 
you refer, we know almost nothing. Your names 
are unknown to me and do not recall to my mind 
any personage, real or fictitious." 

"The very name of Sivrouka seems to me im- 
probable as a Hindoo name " replied another, who 
was unable to give me any more information on the 

" I greatly regret," wrote a third, on receipt of H6- 
l^ne's texts, " not to have succeeded in getting upon 
the trail of the recollections of your medium. I can- 
not think of any book which would be likely to fur- 
nish the information. Tchandraguiri and Manga- 
lore (where several scenes of the Hindoo cycle are 
located) are correct, but Madras {id.) did not exist in 
1 40 1. Its name and foundation do not go further 
back than the seventeenth century. That region 
was then a dependency of the kingdom of Vijaya- 
nagara, and a naik in the service of those princes 
resided successively at Tchandraguiri and at Man- 
galore. I can make nothing of Sivrouka; the 
king of Vijayanagara, in 1402, was Bukkha II., or 
Bukkha called Siribukkha, Tiribukkha. But the 
nai'k who so often changed his residence was evi- 
dently not a ruling prince. Was it a romance ? 
Certain details caused me to doubt it. A romancer 



so careful in regard to local coloring as to introduce 
into his narrative Indian words, would not have 
given the title of the prince under the Sanscrit form 
Nayaka, but would have used the vulgar form naik ; 
he would not have made the wife, in speaking to her 
husband, call him by his name Sivrouka (as Helene 
constantly does in this somnambulism). I have no 
recollection of having read anything of this kind, 
and I know of no work of fiction from which the story 
might have been taken." 

It will be readily understood that I was annoyed at 
not being able to establish clearly my presumed 
Asiatic previous existence. However, while pro- 
fessional science was administering to me these cold 
douches, I continued, on my own account, to search 
the libraries at my disposal, and here one fine day I 
accidentally came across, in an old history of India, 
in six volumes, by a man named De Marias, the fol- 
lowing passages : 

" Kanara and the ne'ghboring provinces on the 
side towards Delhi may be regarded as the Georgia 
of Hindustan ; it is there, it is said, that the most 
beautiful women are to be found; the natives, how- 
ever, are very jealous in guarding them, and do not 
often allow them to be seen by strangers." 

" Tchandraguiri, which signifies Mountain of the 
Moon, is a vast fortress constructed, in 1401, by the 
rajah Sivrouka Nayaka. This prince, as also his 
successors, belonged to the sect of the Dja'ins." 

At last ! With what a beating heart did I fasten 
my eyes on that irrefutable historic evidence that my 
preceding incarnation, under the beautiful skies of 



India was not a myth ! I felt new life in my veins. 
I reread twenty times those blessed lines, and took a 
copy of them to send to those pretended savants who 
were ignorant even of the name of Sivrouka, and 
allowed doubts to be cast upon his reality. 

Alas ! my triumph was of brief duration. It 
seems that the testimony of De Maries is not of the 
highest order. This author is held in slight esteem 
in well-informed circles, as may be seen from the 
following passage in a letter of M. Barth, which 
merely expresses, in a vigorous and lively man- 
ner, an opinion which other specialists have con- 
firmed :* 

" It is through a letter of M. Flournoy that I learn 
that there has existed since 1828 in Paris, printed in 
Roman characters, a history of India by De Marias 
containing a statement that the fortress of Can- 
dragiri was built in 1401, and that its founder was 
Sivrouka Nayaka. What new facts there are in 
books one no longer consults ! And that of De 
Marias is, indeed, one of those that are no longer 
consulted. I found it j^esterdaj?^ at the library of the 
Institute. It would have been impossible to have 
done worse, even in 1828. But sometimes we find 
pearls in a dung-hill, and perhaps this Sivrouka 
Nayaka is one of them. Unfortunately, the author 
gives no hint as to the scources of his information ; 
and later, in his fourth volume, in which he narrates 
the history of the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries, 

* De Marias' General History of India, Ancient and Modern, 
from the Year 2000 B. C. to our Own Times. Pp. 268-269. Paris, 



he does not say a word more either of Candragiri or 
of Sivrouka." 

Here was a terrible blow to my Hindoo existence, 
which poor M. de Maries had so well established for 

Nevertheless, the hope still lingers that his informa- 
tion, although not reproduced by later writers more 
highly esteemed, may perhaps still be correct. This 
is quite possible, since science has not yet spoken its 
last word in this department, hardly even its first, if 
men still more competent may be believed, beginning 
with M. Barth himself. 

" Up to the present moment," says he, " there is no 
trustworthy history of the south of the peninsula. . . 
The Dravidian languages of India is a domain 
verj' unfamiliar to the majority of Indian scholars. 
. There is nothing to draw upon but some works 
and monographs on the aboriginal chronicles and 
legendary traditions ; and it would be necessary 
to know the Dravidian languages on the one hand 
and Arabic on the other, to be able to examine or 
even consult them with profit. The only works which 
we are able to follow are those which undertake to 
make this history by epigraphic documents, but these, 
thus far, say nothing of Simandini, of Adel, of Mi- 
tidja, or even of Sivrouka." 

This silence of ep.graphy is certainly to be re- 
gretted ; but who knows whether it will not some day 
enlighten us by proving De Maries to be right — and 
also Leopold — by narrating to us the true story of 
the Hindoo princess, the Arabian monkey, and the 
slave Adel ! It costs nothing to hope I Already, 



thanks again to M. Barth, I have gained information 
concerning another Tchandraguiri than the one of 
the District of North Arcot mentioned by Vivien de 
Saint-Martin — i.e., a Tchandraguiri, situated in South 
Kanara, and in the citadel of which a hitherto un- 
known inscription has been discovered which must 
date back o the time of King Harihara 11., of Vijaya- 
nagara, who reigned at the beginning of the fifteenth 
century.* Here is something approaching the som- 
nambuUstic revelations of Mile. Smith. While await- 
ing their definite confirmation by new archaeological 
discoveries, traces of Sivrouka may be sought for in 
the earlier works upon which De Marias must have 
drawn. Unfortunately these works are riot easy to 
find, and are inconvenient to consult. Professor 
Michel, of the University of Liege, has had the 
kindness to run through those of Buchananf and 
of Rennell,! but without result. 

If De Marias did not invent Sivrouka out of whole 
cloth, which is hardly supposable, it was very prob- 
ably in the translation of Ferishta by Dow,§ that he 

* Robert Sewell. Lists of Antiquarian Remains in the Presi- 
dency of Madras. Vol i. p. 238 (1882.) Citation by M. Barth. I 
have not been able to consult this work. 

f Buchanan. A Journey from Madras through the Countries of 
Mysore, Canara, and Malabar, etc. 3 vols. 4to. London, 1807. 

I James Rennell. Description Historique et Ge'ographique de I'ln- 
dostan. Translated from the English. Paris, an. viii. (1800). 
3 vols., 8vo and atlas 4to. 

§ Dow. History of Hindustan. Translated from the Persian 
of Ferishta. London, 1803. M. Michel suggests Wilks's Histor- 
ical Sketches of the South of India (London, 1810) as having possi- 
bly served as a source of information for De Marlfes. If some 



found his facts. I have, unhappily, not yet been able 
myself to consult that very rare work, which is not 
to be found in Geneva, so far as I am aware, nor to 
obtain accurate information regarding its contents. 

The uncertainty which hovers over the historical 
problem extends, naturally, to the psychological prob- 
lem also. It is clear that if certain inscriptions, or 
even some old work, should come some day to tell us 
not only of Sivrouka, but of Simandini, of AdM, and 
the other personages who figure in Hel^ne's Hindoo 
romance, but of whom De Maries does not whisper a 
word, we should no longer care about the latter 
author, and the question would then be as follows : 
Could Mile. Smith have had cognizance of these early 
works, and if not, how do their contents reappear 
in her somnambulism ? But in the actual condition 
of things, and all allowance made for possible sur- 
prises in the future, 1 do not hesitate to regard as the 
more probable and more rational supposition, that it 
was really the passage of De Marias, quoted above, 
which furnished he subliminal memory of Hel^ne 
the precise date of 1401 — ^and the three names of the 
fortress, the province, and ihe rajah. 

Various other traits of the visions of Mile. Smith 
betray likewise the same inspiration. The scene in 
which she sees them engaged in building, and her 
description of that which is being built, suggest 
clearly the idea of a fortress furnished by the text. 
The translation Mountain of the Moon contributed to 

learned reader may discover any traces of Sivrouka antecedent 
to De MarlSs, I shall be under great obligation to him if he will 
communicate the information to rae. 



causing her to locate the scene upon a hill. The 
beauty of the women of the covmtry, on which De 
Maries dwells, has its echo in the remark of H^lene 
that the women whom she sees are " good looking." 
Finally, the princely character of Si^-rouka, men- 
tioned b^' De Maries, is found throughout the length of 
the entire romance, and displays itself in the splen- 
dor of his costume, of the palace, of the gardens, etc. 

It is possible that the names and the nation- 
ality of the other personages — Simandini, Ad^l, the 
monkej^, the sheik, etc. — may have been borrowed 
from some unknown \\'ork, which would be, for the 
Arabian portion of the narrative, the pendant to 
De Marias for the Hindoo 

This may be, but it is not necessary. It is per- 
missible to regard, provisionallv, the imaginations 
built up around Sivrouka, as an ingenious expedi- 
ent, by means of which Hdl^ne's imagination finds 
a way of binding to that central figure, and also of 
blending in a single whole, her other Oriental mem' 
ories not specifically Hindoo. 

The hypothesis which I am about to assume, 
which connects directly with De Marias the data of 
H61ene's Ajsiatic dream, contained likewise in the 
work of that author, arouses, nevertheless, two ob- 
jections. The first is drawn from the slight differ- 
ences of orthography between the text of De Marias 
and the words spoken by Leopold. This difficulty is 
only insurmountable by elevating the inerrancy of 
the subliminal memory to the plane of absolute infal- 
libility, though the latter must be admitted to be ordi- 
narily very much superior to that of the conscious 



memory. But the favorite comparison of the for- 
gotten memories, reappearing in somnambuUsms, 
to unchangeable, absolutely true photographic im- 
pressions, causes us readily to exaggerate the fidel- 
ity of the unconscious memory-images. The ex- 
ample of certain dreams — in which memories of 
childhood sometimes return with a startling clear- 
ness, but, nevertheless, altered or distorted in some 
details, conformably to later experiences or to recent 
events — suffices to show that automatisms of the 
memory are not always sheltered by influences of 
the imagination, nor absolutely free from error. 

In this particular case there are two divergences 
between De Marias and Leopold : the latter has sub- 
stituted a k for the c in Nayaca, and has omitted 
the n in Tchandraguiri (compare pp. 286 and 288). 
Another mistake, which he immediately corrected, 
consisting in dictating first Kanaraau, was evidently 
a confusion such as frequently occurs in writing, oc- 
casioned by a too rapid passing from the word Kan- 
ara to the information following, and already about 
to come — " au fifteenth centurj'." The spelling 
Nayaka, instead of Nayaca, is attributable to the 
termination of the word Sivrouka, which precedes it. 
Identity of pronunciation has produced identity of 

The second objection is of a negative character. 
It consists in the impossibility of showing where, 
when, or how Mile. Smith obtained cognizance of 
the text of De Marias. 

I admit frankly that I know nothing about it, and 
I give full credit to Hel^ne for the indomitable and 
u 305 


persevering energy with which she has never ceased 
to protest against my hypothesis, which has the 
faculty of exasperating her in the highest degree — 
and one readily understands that it would naturally 
do so. For it is in vain that she digs down to the very 
bottom of her memories ; she does not discover the 
slightest trace of this work. And not only that, but 
how can one seriously suppose that she has ever 
had the slightest intimation of it, since she never 
studied the history of India, has neither read nor 
heard anything on the subject, the very name of De 
Maries having been utterly unknown to her up to the 
day on which she learned that I suspected that author 
of being the source of the Hindoo romance ? It must- 
indeed, be admitted that the idea of the passage in 
question having come before the eyes or ears of Mile. 
Smith through any ordinary channel seems a trifle 
absurd. I only know in Geneva of two copies of the 
work of De Maries, both covered with dust — the one 
belonging to the Soci6t6 de Lecture, a private asso- 
ciation of which none of the Smith family nor any 
friend of theirs was ever a member ; the other in the 
Public Library, where, among the thousands of 
more interesting and more modern books, it is now 
very rarely consulted. It could only have happened, 
therefore, by a combination of absolutely exception- 
al and almost unimaginable circumstances that the 
work of De Marias could have found its way into H6- 
l^ne's hands ; and how could it have done so and 
she not have the slightest recollection of it ? 

I acknowledge the force of this argument, and that 
the wisest thing to do is to leave the matter in sus- 



pense. But if the question must be decided, though 
there is scarcely any choice, extravagance for extrav- 
agance, 1 still prefer the hypothesis which only in- 
vokes natural possibilities to that which appeals to 
occult causes. 

Possibly the work of De Marl&s may have been 
heard of by Mile. Smith without her normal con- 
sciousness taking note of it. Either when among 
her friends or acquaintances, or with her parents, 
she might have heard some passages read in her 
young days, etc. The fact that she has no con- 
scious recollection of it proves nothing against such 
a supposition to any one who is at all familiar with 
the play of our faculties. 

It goes without saying that my method of reason- 
ing is the inverse of that which generally prevails in 
spiritistic circles. Witness the celebrated Aksakoff, 
as a single example, who, discovering that a curious 
typtological message was found already in print in a 
book which could not readily have come to the knowl- 
edge of the medium, and recognizing the fact that the 
message came from that book, says : " But in what 
way could the brain of the medium have been made 
aware of the contents of the book? There is the 
mystery. I refuse to admit that it could have been 
through natural means. I believe it was by some occult 

Very well ! this is plain language, and the frank- 
ness of the declaration charms me to such a degree 
that I cannot resist the temptation to appropriate it 
for myself in the case of Mile. Smith and M. de Marias, 
transposing only two words : "I refuse to admit that it 



could have been through occult means. I believe it was 
by some natural process." Evidently, in doubtful cases 
(which are in an enormous majority), in which the 
natural and the occult explanations are in direct op- 
position, without the possibility of a material demon- 
stration as to which is true in fact, a decision must be 
reached in accordance with personal taste and feeling. 
Between these two methodological points of view a 
reconciliation is scarcely possible. The reader may 
think what he will. But, right or wrong, I claim the 
first of these as my opinion, and regard the tendency 
of the supernatural and occult to substitute them- 
selves, on account of the insufficiency of our knowl- 
edge, for the acquired rights of natural hypothesis, 
as an unjustifiable reversal of roles. 

To those who shall find my hypothesis decidedly 
too extravagant — or too simple — remains a choice be- 
tween the multiple forms of occult hypothesis. Shall 
it be Leopold who, in his all-powerful state of disin- 
carnation, has read in the closed volume of De Maries? 
Or has there, indeed, been a telepathic transmission 
of this passage from the brain of some unknown ter- 
restrial reader to that of Mile. Smith ? Shall it be 
with her a case of clairvoyance, of lucidity, of intuition 
in the astral body ; or, again, of trickery on the part of 
some facetious spirit ? And if, taking the reincar- 
nationist theory seriously, it is admitted that Siv- 
rouka, 1401, and Tchandraguiri, are indeed really 
reminiscences of the past life of Simandini, how ex- 
plain that curious coincidence in their choice and 
their spelling with precisely the designations used 
by M. de Maries ? 



Verily my brain reels in the midst of all these 
alternatives, and 1 hasten to pass to another sub- 

III. The Arab Elements of the Oriental 

Here is a problem for the partisans of the Ori- 
ental pre-existence of Mile. Smith : How comes it 
that, recovering in her trances the use of the Hin- 
doo which she formerly spoke at the court of Siv- 
rouka, she has totally forgotten Arabian, which, how- 
ever, had been her mother-tongue in that same pre- 
vious existence, and which she was accustomed to 
use exclusively up to the time of her departure from 
her native land, in her eighteenth year ? 

If the emotions caused by her royal marriage had 
destroyed all memory of the past, one could under- 
stand how the idiom might have become obscured 
along with the rest in that loss of memory of her life 
as a young girl. 

But such was not the case. She preserved very vivid 
memories of her father the sheik, of his tents gleam- 
ing in the sunlight, of the people, of the camels and 
landscapes of Arabia. In many seances and spon- 
taneous visions she finds herself carried back to that 
first half of her Asiatic existence. But then she nar- 
rates in French that which is unfolded before her eyes, 
or gives herself up to a silent pantomime. She has 
never spoken or written anything at all resembling 
Arabian. Can it be supposed that already in her 
Hindoo life she had assimilated the language of her 



adopted country to the point of losing even the latent 
memories of her maternal language ? That would 
be contrary to all known psychological analogies. 

However, in saying that H61^ne has never written 
or spoken Arabian I exaggerate. On one occasion 
she spoke four words of it. It is the exception which 
proves the rule. In fact, not only did she fail to 
accompany that single text with any pronunciation, 
but she executed it as a drawing, and apparently 
copied, without comprehending, a model which an 
imaginary person presented to her. 

Here is a review of that incident : 

October 27, 1895. — Shortly after the beginning of 
the seance Mile. Smith has an Arabian vision : " Look 
at those tents! There are no stones here — it is all 
sand . . . [she counts the tents one by one]. There 
are twenty of them. That one is beautiful. Don't 
you find it so, M. Lemaitre — that largest one? It is 
fastened by cords and small stakes. . . ."etc. Then 
she describes the personages : The one who is 
smoking, seated in a corner, with his legs crossed ; 
others all black (the table says they are negroes, 
and that the scene takes place in Arabia); then a man 
clothed in white, whom Hel^ne has the feeling of 
knowing without' being able to recognize him ; she 
places her finger upon her forehead, in the attitude 
of a person trying to remember, and the table (on 
which she has her left hand) informs us then that she 
lived in Arabia in her life as Simandini, and that she 
is trying to recollect those far-distant times. A quite 
long scene follows, in which her Arab reminiscences 
alternate and mingle with the consciousness of the 



real environment, though she neither sees nor hears 
us. At this point a state of mental confusion ensues, 
which seems to be very painful to her. 

" . . . M. Lemattre I M. Flournoy ! are you there ? 
Answer me, then. Did I not come here this evening ? 
If only I could . . . however, I am not en voyage. . . . 
I really believe it is Sunday at last ... I under- 
stand nothing more about it. I think my brain is so 
tired that all my ideas are mixed up . . . however, 
I am not dreaming. ... It seems to me that I have 
also lived with them . . [the sitters at the table], 
and with them [the Arabs of her vision]. . . . But 
I know them — all those men. Tell me, then, who 
you are ! Did you arrive in Geneva lately ? [They 
are, says the table, Arabs who lived five centuries 
ago, among them the father of Simandini.] Come 
nearer, then, come here. I want you to speak to me I 
M. Lemaitre I Oh, that pretty httle sketch ! What 
is that sketch? [The table having said that it is a 
drawing which her father is presenting to her, and 
that she can copy it, a pencil and a sheet of paper 
are placed before her, the latter of which seems to 
be transformed into papyrus in her dream.] That 
green leaf is pretty. Of what plant is it the leaf ? 
I think I have a pencil; I am going to try to make 
this sketch. ..." 

After the usual struggle between the two methods 
of holding the pencil(seepp. 100-102), she yields to Leo- 
pold's manner of holding it, saying, " So much the 
worse"; then traces, slowly and with great care. 
Fig. 35, from left to right, often raising her eyes to 
her imaginary model, as if copying a drawing. After 



which she goes profoundly asleep ; then other som- 
nambuhsms come. 

On awaking she recollects the state of confusion 
through which she had passed. " Wretched even- 
ing," said she. " 1 was unhappy. I felt that 1 was 
living here, as I always have, and 1 saw some things 
as though 1 were a foreigner. 1 was with you, but I 
was living elsewhere," etc. 

This whole scene gives the distinct impression that 
the Arab phrase only existed in H61ene's recollec- 
tion as a visual memory, without meaning or any 
verbal images. It was for her an incomprehensible 
piece of writing, a simple drawing, like Chinese or 
Japanese characters would be for us. Evidently it 
was a text which had come before her eyes at some 
propitious moment, and, having been absorbed by 
the subliminal imagination — always on the watch 
for matters of Oriental aspect — had been incorporated 
in a scene of the Asiatic dream. 

Such, at least, is the supposition which seems to 
me the most plausible. For, to regard it as a frag- 
ment of Arabian, which Helene could speak and 
write fluently if she were in an appropriate state of 
somnambulism — as Leopold pretended one day to 
be the fact — seems to me an hypothesis still more 

Fig. 35. Arabian text drawn from left to right by Mile. Smith in hemisomnambu- 
lism: elqalil men elhabib ktsir, ^he little from tJte friend {is) much. 
Natural size. 



arbitrary, and little in accord with the other trance 
phenomena of Mile. Smith. 

Occasions have not been wanting to her in the five 
years during which her exotic romances have been 
unfolding themselves to make use of her supposed 
philological reserves by speaking and writing Ara- 
bian, if her subliminal memory had so desired. 

She has presented all degrees and kinds of som- 
nambulism, and more visions of Arabia than could 
have failed to awaken by association the correspond- 
ing idiom, if it really was slumbering in her. The 
complete and total isolation of the text given above, 
in the midst of this flood of Oriental scenes, seems to 
me, therefore, to testify strongly in favor of my sup- 
position that it has to do with a visual flash, unique 
in its kind, accidentally encountered and stored up, 
and that the Asiatic secondary personality of Mile. 
Smith is absolutely ignorant of Arabic. 

Concerning the other details of the Arab somnam_ 
bulisms of FIdlfene, 1 have nothing to say; they do 
not go beyond the ideas which she could unconscious- 
ly have gathered from the surrounding environ- 
ment ; and to the other sources of her knowledge 
must be added whatever she might have heard from 
her father, who had at one time lived in Algeria. 

The proper names connected with the Arab scenes, 
with the possible exception of Pirux, awaken certain 
associations of ideas, without making it possible to 
af&rm anything with certainty as to their origin. 



IV. The Hindoo Language of Mlle. Smith 

The nature of the Hindoo language of H61^ne is 
less easy to explain clearly than that of the Martian, 
because it has never been possible to obtain either 
a literal translation of it or written texts. Besides, 
being ignorant of the numberless dialects of ancient 
and modern India, and not believing it to be incum- 
bent upon me to devote myself to their study solely 
that I might be able to appreciate at their proper 
value the philological exploits of an entranced me- 
dium, I am not in a situation to allow myself any 
personal judgment in regard to this matter. 

There is not even left to me the resource of placing 
the parts of the process as a whole before the reader, 
as I have done in the case of the Martian, for the 
reason thai our ignorance of H61^ne's Hindoo, added 
to her rapid and indistinct pronunciation — a real 
prattle sometimes — has caused us to lose the greater 
part of the numerous words heard in the course of 
some thirty Oriental scenes scattered over a space of 
four years. 

Even the fragments which we have been able to 
note down present for the most part so much uncer- 
tainty that it would be idle to publish all of them. 
I have communicated the best of them to several 
distinguished Oriental scholars. From certain in- 
formation which they have kindly given me, it ap- 
pears that the soi-disant Hindoo of H61fene is not 
any fixed idiom known to these specialists ; but, on 
the other hand, there are to be found in it, more or less 



disfigured and difficult to recognize, certain terms 
or roots which approach more nearly to Sanscrit 
than any actual language of India, and the mean- 
ing of which often very well corresponds with the 
situations in which these words have been uttered. 
1 proceed to give some examples of them : 

I. The two words, atieyd ganapatindml,, which 
inaugurated the Hindoo language on the 6th of 
March, 1895 (see p. 282), and which were invested 
at that moment, in the mouth of Simandini, with 
the evident meaning of a formula of salutation or 
of benediction, addressed to her late husband, in- 
opportunely returned, were articulated in a manner 
so impressive and so solemn that their pronunci- 
ation leaves scarcely any room for doubt. 

It is all the more interesting to ascertain the ac- 
cord of my scientist correspondents upon the value 
of these two words ; the first recalls to them nothing 
precise or applicable to the situation, but the sec- 
ond is a flattering and very appropriate allusion to 
the diviiuty of the Hindoo Pantheon, which is more 
actively interesting to the professional world. 

M. P. Oltramare, to whom I sent these words, with- 
out saying anything as to their source, replied: "There 
is nothing more simple than the word ganapati- 
ndmd ; it means, ' who bears the name of Ganapati,' 
which is the same as Ganesa. . . . As to atieyd, that 
word has not a Hindoo appearance ; it might perhaps 
be atreya, which, it seems, serves as a designation for 
women who have suffered an abortion, an explication 
which, however, I do not guarantee. [In order to 



affirm more concerning these words, it would be nec- 
essary to know] whether the}' are really Sanscrit, 
since if they belong to the vulgar languages, I ex- 
cuse myself absolutely." 

M. Glardon, who is more familiar with the vulgar 
languages and speaks Hindustani fluently, did not 
hint to me of any other meaning for atieyd and saw 
also in the other word " an epithet of honor, literally, 
'named Ganapati,' iamiliar name of the god Ganesa." 

M. de Saussure also found no meaning whatever 
for the first term, in which he inclines now to see an 
arbitrary creation of the Martian order, and he re- 
marked that in the second, " the two words, Ganapati, 
well-known :!ivinity, and nimd, name, are con- 
structed together, in some inexplicable manner, but 
not necessarily false. It is quite curious," adds he, 
" that this fragment, which is mixed up with the name 
of a god, may be properly pronounced with a kind of 
solemn emphasis and a gesture of religious bene- 
diction. This denotes, indeed, an intelligent and 
intentional use." 

According to this first brief specimen, therefore, 
Helene's Plindoo appears to be a mixture of impro- 
vised articulations and of veritable Sanscrit words 
adapted to the situation. Later specimens only 
serve to corroborate this impression. 

2. The next outbreak of Hindoo took place five 
months later (September 15, 1895), in the midst of a 
verj' long Oriental seance, in which I only refer to 
points especially interesting to us — to wit, lidl^ne's 
supposed Sanscrit, the French interpretation which 



Leopold gave of it, and the curious evidences of agree- 
ment of these two texts. 

In one tender scene, with sighs and tears, in connec- 
tion with Sivrouka, H61ene uttered in an exceedingly- 
sweet voice the following words : ou mama priva (or 
prira, priya) — mama radisivou — mama sadiou siv- 
rouka — apa tava va signa damasa — simia damasa 
bagda sivrouka. During the various phases which 
precede the awaking, I ask Leopold the meaning of 
these words. He at first refused to give it, saying, 
" Find it out yourself "; then, as I insist, " I would have 
preferred that you found it out j^ourself." I beg him 
to give at least the correct spelling of an Oriental 
text furnished us in so uncertain a manner, but he 
disappeared, saying he was ignorant of Sanscrit. By 
means of later questions which he answers by " yes " 
and "no," it is discovered that they are words of love 
from Simandini to her husband, who was about to 
leave her for a voyage to his principality. Then sud- 
denly, as the awaking seems to be approaching, 
Leopold moves the index-finger feverishly, and com- 
mences to dictate impatiently : " Hasten [to spell] 
. . . My good, my excellent, my dearly loved Siv- 
rouka, without thee where to find happiness ?" His 
answers to our questions lead us to understand that 
this is the substantial meaning of all the Sanscrit 
spoken that evening (and given above), that it is not 
he, Leopold, who speaks this language to Helene, 
because he does not understand it, but that it is in- 
deed he who gives us the French equivalent for it, 
not by a literal translation of the words themselves^ 
since he does not understand them, but by interpret- 



ing the inmost feelings of Mile. Smith, with which he 
is perfectly familiar. Shortly afterwards H616ne 
awakes without recollection. 

According to M. de Saussure there are certainly in 
this text some Sanscrit fragments answering more 
or less to the interpretation of Leopold. The most 
clear are mama priya, which signifies my dear, my 
dearly loved, and mama sadiou (corrected to sddho), 
my good, m,y excellent. The rest of the phrase is 
less satisfactory in its present condition ; tava could 
well be of thee, but apa tava is a pure barbarism, 
if it is intended for far from thee. In the same way 
the syllable bag in bagda seems to mean, indepen- 
dently of the translation of Leopold, bhdga, happi- 
ness, but is surrounded by incomprehensible syl- 

3. In a subsequent seance (December i, 1895), 
H61fene gave herself up to a varied series of somnam- 
bulistic pantomimes representing scenes in the life 
of Simandini, which were thought to be located at 
Mangalore, and in the course of which several Hindoo 
words escaped her, of which, unhappily, no inter- 
pretation could be obtained from Leopold. But here 
again, if one is not too difficult to satisfy, a meaning 
more or less adapted to the pantomime is finally dis- 

In the midst of a playful scene with her little mon- 
key, Mitidja, she tells him in her sweetest and most 
harmonious tones (A), mama kana sour (or sourde) 
mitidya .... kana mitidya (ter). Later, answering 
her imaginary prince, who, according to Leopold, 



has just given her a severe admonition (the reason 
for which is not known), and to which she Hstened 
with an air of forced submission, and, almost sneer- 
ingly, she tells him (B), adaprati tava sivrouka.... 
no simyo sinonyedo ... on yedio sivrouka. Re- 
turning to a better feeling and leaning towards him, 
she murmurs with a charming smile (C) mama plia 
. . . mama naximi (or naxmi) sivrouka . . . ao 
laos, mi sivrouka. 

In the fragment (A), one may suppose the mama 
kana to be a term of affection, taking the kana to be 
equivalent to the Sanscrit k&nta, "beloved," or ka- 
nistha, "darling," unless it be translated, as M. 
Glardon does, kana (corrected to khana) mitidya 
to eat for Mitidja. 

In the phrase (B), according to M. de Saussure, 
"the last words might, with some show of rea- 
son, make us think of the word anyediuh, the fol- 
lowing day, or, another day, repeated twice ; and, 
on the other hand, the first word might be trans- 
formed into adya-prabhrti, starting from to-day ; 
which, combined with other syllables, themselves 
conventionally triturated, might give something 
like : adya-pra-bhrti tava, sivruka . . , yoshin . . . 
na anyediuh, any ediuh : from to-day, of thee, 
Sivrouka, that I am, . . . wife . . . not another day, 
another day — which, besides (if it has any mean- 
ing at all,) has scarcely any connection with the 

In the phrase (C) the words mama plia evidently 
mean the same as the words above, mama priya, 
my beloved; naxmi might be lakshmi, beauty and 



fortune; and the last words might contain asmi, 1 

While, therefore, recognizing some words of pure 
Sanscrit, the whole appearance of these first texts 
presents, on the other hand, certain matters quite 
suspicious, from the point of view of construction, 
of the order of the words, and possibly also the cor- 
rectness of the forms. 

" E. g.," observes M. de Saussure, " I do not remem- 
ber that one can say in Sanscrit, ' my Sivrouka,' 
nor ' mj' dear Sivrouka.' One can well say mama 
priya, my ivell beloved, substantively ; but mama 
priya Sivruka is quite another thing : but it is my 
dear Sivrouka which occurs most frequently. It 
is true," adds my learned colleague, '" that nothing 
can be affirmed absolutely, especially concerning 
certain epochs at which much bad Sanscrit was 
made in India. The resource always remains to us 
of assuming that, since the eleventh wife of Siv- 
rouka was a child of Arabia, she had not had time 
to learn to express herself without error in the idiom 
of her lord and master, up to the moment at which 
the funeral pile put an end to her brief existence." 

The misfortune is, in assuming by hypothesis the 
point of view of the romance, one exposes himself 
to another difficult^^ " The most surprising thing," 
remarks M. de Saussure, " is that Mme. Simandini 
spoke Sanscrit, and not Pracrit (the connection of 
the first \\'ith the second is the same as that be- 
tween Latin and French, the one springing from 
the other, but the one is the language in which the 
savants write, while the other is the spoken lan- 



guage). While in the Hindoo drama the kings, the 
brahmins, and the personages of high degree are ob- 
served habitually to use Sanscrit, it is questionable 
if such was constantly the case in real life. But, 
under all circumstances, all the women, even in the 
drama, speak Pracrit. A king addresses his wife in 
the noble language (Sanscrit) ; she answers him al- 
ways in the vulgar language. But the idiom of Si- 
mandini, even though it be a Sanscrit very hard to 
recognize, is not in any case the Pracrit." 

The numerous Hindoo speeches of Mile. Smith dur- 
ing these latter years give rise to certain analogous 
observations, and do not throw any new light on 
their origin. I shall confine myself to a few ex- 
amples, which I have chosen less for the sake of the 
Sanscritoid texts themselves, which are also always 
defective and distorted, than for the reason that the 
varied circumstances in which they have been pro- 
duced afford a certain psychological interest. 

4. Scene of Chiromancy. In the course of a long 
Arab seance, then Hindoo (February 2, 1896), Hel^ne 
knelt down by the side of my chair, and, taking me 
for Sivrouka, seized and examined my hand, all the 
while carrying on a conversation in a foreign lan- 
guage (without seeming to notice my actual words). 
It seems that this conversation contained some ex- 
pression of anxiety in regard to my health, which had 
inspired several somnambulisms of Mile. Smith dur- 
ing the preceding months (an example will be found 
on pp. 121-122). 

At the same time at which she attentively exam- 
X 321 


ines the lines of my hand, she pronounces the fol- 
lowing fragmentary sentences, separated by silences 
corresponding to the hallucinatory replies of Siv- 
rouka : " Priya sivrouka ... no [signifying No, ac- 
cording to Leopold] . . . tvandastroum sivrouka . . . 
itiami adia priya . . . itiami sivra adia . . . yatou . . . 
napi adia . . . no . . . mama souka, mama baga siv- 
rouka . . . yatou." Besides sivra, which, Leopold says, 
is an affectionate name for Sivrouka, we can divine in 
this text other terms of affection : priya, beloved ; 
mama soukha, mama bhdga, Oh, my delight, oh, 
my happiness I" M. Glardon also calls attention to 
the word tvandastroum, which approaches the Hin- 
dustani tandarast (or tandurust), " who is in good 
health" — tandurusti, "health," coming from the two 
words tan, " physical condition," and durust, "good, 
true," of Persian origin. But he adds that it is pos- 
sibly only a coincidence, and seems to me doubtful 
whether he would have thought of the connection if 
it were not found in a scene of chiromancy. 

5. The Hindoo cycle, like the others, makes numer- 
ous irruptions into the ordinary life of Mile. Smith, 
and affects her personality in most varied degrees, 
from the simple waking vision of Oriental landscapes 
or people up to the total incarnations of Simandini, of 
which H61toe preserves no memory whatever. One 
frequent form of these spontaneous automatisms con- 
sists in certain mixed states, in which she perceives 
personages who seem to her objective and independent, 
while continuing to have the feeling of a subjective 
implication or identification in regard to them, the 



impression of an indefinable tua res agitur. It then 
easily happens that the conversations she has with 
them are a mixture of French and a foreign language 
which she is wholly ignorant of, though feeling the 
meaning of it. The following is an example : 

March i, 1898. — Between five and six in the morn- 
ing, while still in bed but wide awake, as she affirms, 
Helene had " a superb Hindoo vision." Magnificent 
palace, with a huge staircase of white stone, leading 
to splendid halls furnished with low divans without 
cushions, of yellow, red, and more often of blue ma- 
terials. In a boudoir a woman (Simandini) reclining 
and leaning nonchalantly on her elbow ; on his 
knees near her a man with black curly hair, of dark 
complexion (Sivrouka), clothed in a large, red, em- 
broidered robe, and speaking a foreign language, not 
Martian, which Helene did not know, but which, how- 
ever, she had the feeling of comprehending inwardly, 
and which enabled her to write some sentences of it 
in French after the vision. While she listened to 
this man speaking, she saw the lips of the woman 
open, without hearing any sound come from her 
mouth, in such a way that she did not know what 
she said, but Helene had at the same time the impres- 
sion of answering inwardly, in thought, to the con- 
versation of the man, and she noted his reply. (This 
means, psychologically, that the words of Sivrouka 
gushed forth in auditive images or hallucinations, 
and the answers of Simandini-Hel^ne in psycho- 
motor -spoken images of articulation, accompanied 
by the usual representation of Simandini effectuating 
the corresponding labial movements.) Here is a 



fragment of conversation noted by H616ne in pencil 
at the outset of the vision, in her ordinary hand- 
writing, but very irregular, attesting that she had 
not yet entirely regained her normal state. 

(Sivrouka.) " My nights without repose, my eyes 
red with tears, Simandini, will not these touch at 
last thy attamana? Shall this day end without 
pardon, without love?" (Simandini.) " Sivrouka, no, 
the day shall not end without pardon, without love ; 
the sumina has not been launched far from me, 
as thou hast supposed ; it is there — dost thou see ?" 
(Sivrouka.) "Simandini, my soucca, maccanna 
baguea — pardon me again, always !" 

This little scrap of conversation, it may be re- 
marked in passing, gives quite correctly the emo- 
tional note, which is strong throughout the whole 
length of the Hindoo dream in the relationship of 
its two chief personages. As to the Sanscritoid 
words which are there mingled with the French, 
they have not an equal value. " Sumina," says 
M. de Saussure, "recalls nothing. Attamana, at 
most dtminam (accusative of dtrnd), I'dme, 'the 
soul'; but I hasten to say that in the context 
in which attamana figures one could not make 
use of the Sanscrit word which resembles it, and 
which at bottom only signifies (dme) ' soul ' in phil- 
osophical language, and in the sense of ' I'dme uni- 
verselle,' or other learned meanings." 

6. The apparition of isolated Hindoo words, or 
words incorporated in a non-Hindoo context, is not 
very rare with H^l^ne, and is produced sometimes 



in auditive hallucinations, sometimes in her writ- 
ings (see, e. g., Fig. 37, p. 333); sometimes, again, 
in the course of words uttered in hemisomnambu- 
lism more or less marked. The list which has been 
collected of these detached terms shows the same 
mixture of pure Sanscrit and unknown words, which 
can only be connected with that language by some 
transformation so arbitrary or forced as to destroy 
altogether the value of such comparison. 

To this second category belong, for example, gava, 
vindamini,jotisse,also spelled by Mile. Smith. These 
terms, of whose signification she is absolutely igno- 
rant, struck her ear in the course of a Hindoo vi- 
sion which occurred in the morning when she first 
awoke. The last of these words recalls to M. de 
Saussure the Sanscrit jydtis, " a constellation "; but 
then he would pronounce it djidtisse, which hardly 
corresponds to the manner in which H61^ne heard 
and wrote it. There must be added to these exam- 
ples certain Hindoo words which have made irrup- 
tions into some Martian texts. 

These are Adel, a proper name, and yestad, " un- 
known," in text 13 ; and (in text 31) vadasa, which, 
according to the rest of the sentence, seems to desig- 
nate some divinities or some powers, and in which 
MM. de Saussure and Glardon suspect a mangled 
reminiscence of the Sanscrit term deva-d&sa, "slave 
of the gods." 

7. To crown these specimens of the Sanscrit of 
H616ne, let us cite her " Hindoo chant," which has 
made half a dozen appearances in the last two years, 



and of which Leopold deigned, on a single occasion, 
to outline the translation. 

The utterances consist essentially of the Sanscrit 
word gay a "chant," repeated to satiety, with here and 
there some other terms, badly articulated and offer- 
ing discouraging variations in the notes taken by 
the different hearers. I will confine myself to two 

A (eii « u CjJ 

Fig. 36. Modulation of a Hindoo song. The final G of the three variations was 
held with perfect steadiness during fourteen seconds. The series A was often 
doubled and trebled before the continuation. 

One of them is by H^l^ne herself. In a spontane- 
ous vision (May 18, 1898, in the morning, upon awak- 
ing), she perceived a man, richly dressed in yellow 
and blue (Sivrouka), reclining upon beautiful cush- 
ions near a fountain surrounded by palm-trees ; a 
brunette woman (Simandini) seats herself on the 
grass, sings to him in a strange language a ravish- 
ing melody. H^lene gathers the following frag- 
ments of it in writing, in which may be recognized 
the disfigured text of her ordinary song, "Ga haia 
vahaiyami . . . vassen lata . . . pattissaia priaia." 

The other version is that of M. de Saussure, very 
much better qualified than we are to distinguish 
the Hindoo sounds. He was quite near H61^ne, who 



sang seated upon the ground, whose voice for the 
moment articulated so badly that several words es- 
caped him, and he does not vouch for the accuracy 
of his text, which is as follows, as he wrote it to the 
measure: "Giya gaya naia ia miya gaya briti . . . 
gaya vaya ydni pritiya kriya gaydni i gaya mama- 
tua gaya mama nara mama patii si gaya gandaryo 
gdya ityami vasanta . . . gaya gaya y^mi gaya 
priti gaya priya gdya patisi. . . ." 

It was towards the end of this same seance that 
Leopold, undoubtedly with the idea of doing honor 
to the distinguished presence of M. de Saussure, 
decided, after a scene of Martian translation (text 14, 
by Esenale), to give us, in Helene's voice, his inter- 
pretation of the Hindoo chant, which follows, verba- 
tim, with its mixture of Sanscrit words : " Sing, bird, 
let us sing ! Gaya! Adel, Sivrouka, sing of the 
spring-time ! Day and night I am happy ! Let us 
sing ! Spring-time bird, happiness ! itydmi ma- 
manara priti, let us sing ! let us love ! my king I 
Miousa, Ad^l I" 

In comparing these translations of the Hindoo 
text, certain points of resemblance are discovered 
between them. Outside the two perfectly correct 
words, gdya, song, and vasanta, spring-time, the idea 
of " let us love " is discovered in priti and briti (San- 
scrit prHi, the act of loving), and an approximate 
equivalent of " my king " in mama patii, recalling 
the Sanscrit mama pat§, " my husband, my master." 

It is, unfortunately, hardly possible to carry the 
identification further, except perhaps for bird, which, 
with some show of reason, might be suspected in 



vayaydni, vaguely recalling vdyasin (accusative 
plural of vdyasa bird). 

As to the melody of this plaintive ditty, M. Aug. 
de Morsier, who heard it at the seance of the 4th of 
September, 1898, has kindly noted it as exactly as 
possible (see Fig. 36). 

The preceding examples suf&ce to give an idea of 
H616ne's Hindoo, and it is time to conclude. 

It apparently does not belong to any actually ex- 
isting dialect. M. Glardon declares that it is neither 
ancient nor modern Hindustani, and, after having 
put forth at the beginning, by way of simple hypoth- 
esis, the idea that it might be Tamil, or Mahratta, 
he now sees in it a melange of real terms, probably 
Sanscrit and invented words. M. Michel, likewise, 
is of the opinion that the grotesque jargon of Siman- 
dini contains fragments of Sanscrit quite well adapted 
to the situation. All my correspondents are, on the 
whole, of exactly the same view, and 1 could not bet- 
ter sum up their opinion than by quoting the words 
of M. de Saussure: 

" As to the question of ascertaining whether all 
this really represents Sanscrit, it is evidently neces- 
sary to answer. No. One can only say : 

" First : That it is a medley of syllables, in the 
midst of which there are, incontestably, some series of 
eight to ten syllables, constituting a fragment of a sen- 
tence which has a meaning (especially exclamatory 
phrases — e. g., mama priya, mon bien-aime (" my well- 
beloved") ; mama soukha, mes delices ("my delight"). 

" Secondly : That the other syllables, of unintel- 
ligible aspect, never have an anti-Sanscrit character— 



i. e., do not present groups materially contrary or in 
opposition to the general figure of the Sanscrit words. 

" Thirdly and finally : That the value of this 
latter observation is, on the other hand, quite consid- 
erably diminished by the fact that Mile. Smith sel- 
dom launches out into complicated forms of syllables, 
and greatly affects the vowel a ; but Sanscrit is a 
language in which the proportion of the a's to the 
other vowels is almost four to one, so that in utter- 
ing three or four syllables in a, one could hardly 
avoid vaguely encountering a Sanscrit word." 

It follows from this last remark of M. de Saussure 
that it ought not to be very difficult to fabricate San- 
scrit after the mode of Simandini, if only one is pos- 
sessed of some veritable elements which can serve 
as a model and give tone to the remainder. And 
there is no need to know very much of it, either, as 
M. Barth remarks ; 

" Has Mile. Smith been in communication with 
any person from whom she could have taken some 
scraps of Sanscrit and of history ? That would suffice, 
in this case, for the original germ, even though it 
were but slight. Imagination would do the rest. 
Children are very frequently onomatopoioi." 

But it is, naturally. Mile. Smith herself who 
furnishes us, in her own Martian, the fact most likely 
to throw light upon her Hindoo. It evidently is not 
difficult for a subconscious activity capable of man- 
ufacturing a language out of whole cloth to make 
another by imitation and by spinning out some 
real data. Also, as to the beginning of the Martian 
(a year later, as we have seen, to that of the Hindoo), 



M. de Saussure does not hesitate to make this com- 
parison, and explains, e.g., the initial Sanscritoid 
text, the famous phrase of benediction, atieyd gana- 
patindma, by the same process of fabrication which 
shone forth in the words of Esenale or Astan6. 

I am not convinced that the general process of re- 
placing word for word the French terms by terms 
of Oriental aspect, which is certainly the process em- 
ployed in the fabrication of the Martian, has been 
made use of in the case of H61^ne's Oriental words. 
Leopold, who has laid so much stress on procuring 
us a ^wasi-magical means of obtaining the literal 
translation of the Martian, has never condescended 
to do the same thing for the Hindoo, but has 
confined himself to outlining for us some free and 
vague interpretations, which scarcely add anything 
to that which the pantomime permits us to divine. 
This leads us to think that an entire precise trans- 
lation of the Hindoo is impossible — in other terms, 
that H^lfene does not fabricate her /^sewdo-Sanscrit by 
following step by step a French plot, and by main- 
taining in her neologisms the meaning which has 
been once adopted, but that she improvises and leaves 
the result to chance, without reflection (with the ex- 
ception of some words of true Sanscrit, the meaning 
of which she knows and which she applies intelli- 
gently to the situation). 

It is not, then, to the Martian texts proper, in my 
opinion, that we must compare H^lfene's Hindoo, but 
to that pseudo-Martian jargon spoken with volubil- 
ity in certain seances, and which have never been 
noted with certainty nor translated by Esenale. 


It is understood, too, that while H^l^ne's sublim- 
inal self can safely give itself up to the creation of a 
definite language in the freedom which the planet 
Mars affords, where there is no pre-existing system 
to be conformed to nor any objective control to fear, 
it would be very imprudent and absurd to repeat 
the process in connection with India : the few words 
of pure Sanscrit which were at its disposal kept it 
from inventing others, the falseness of which would 
be evident at the first attempt at a literal and verbatim 
translation. It, therefore, contented itself with these 
veridical elements, insufficient in themselves alone for 
the construction of complete sentences, being a jargon 
devoid of meaning, but in harmony through their 
dominant vowels with the authentic fragments. 

Now how could these authentic fragments have 
come into the possession of Mile. Smith, who has no 
recollection whatever (nor has her family) of ever hav- 
ing studied Sanscrit, or of having ever been in com- 
munication with Oriental scholars ? This is the 
problem which my researches have encountered 
hitherto, and as a solution of which I can think of 
nothing more likely than that of a fortunate chance, 
analogous to that which enabled me to discover the 
passage of De Marlfes. I am, for the time being, 
reduced to vague conjectures as to the extent of 
Mile. Smith's latent knowledge of Sanscrit, and the 
probable nature of its manner of acquisition. 

I had long thought that H^lene might have ab- 
sorbed her Hindoo principally by auditive means, and 
that she had, perhaps, in her infancy lived in the same 
house with some Indian student, whom she had heard, 



across the street or through an open window, speak- 
ing aloud Sanscrit texts with their French transla- 
tion. The story of the young domestic without edu- 
cation is well known, who, seized with a fever, spoke 
both Greek and Hebrew, which had been stored up in 
her mind, unknown to her, while she was in the ser- 
vice of a German savant. Se non e vero d ben trovato. 
In spite of the just criticisms of Mr. Lang, apropos of 
its poorly established authenticity, this standard an- 
ecdote may be considered as a type of many other 
facts of the same kind which have since been actual- 
ly observed, and as a salutary warning to distrust 
subconscious memories of auditive origin. But Ind- 
ian scholars are rare in Geneva, and this trail has 
yielded me nothing. 

I am really inclined to admit the exclusively visual 
origin of H61^ne's Sanscrit. First, it is not necessary 
for her to have heard that idiom. Reading of texts 
printed in French characters coincides very well 
with a pronunciation so confused and badly ar- 
ticulated as hers; and, further, it alone can ac- 
count for certain inexplicable errors of pronuncia- 
tion if Mile. Smith had acquired that language by 

The most characteristic of her errors is the pres- 
ence in Hindoo of the French sound u, which does 
not exist in Sanscrit, but is naturally suggested by 
reading if it has not been previously ascertained 
that that letter is pronounced ou in the Sanscrit words 
in which it appears. 

Other observations militate in favor of the same 
supposition. Never in the seances has Simandini 


Si. B- C w' 
S B a ■ 

S,a K^ 

o o -« 

c " S, 

fll ^ 
^o5' fi) 


R.g 3 






ventured to write Sanscrit, and it is in French letters 
that her name was given (see p. 288). 

Still, H616ne subconsciously possesses a part, at 
least, of the Devanagari alphabet, since sometimes 
certain characters belonging to it slip into her nor- 
mal writing. But it is to be noted that her knowl- 
edge of this kind does not seem in any way to go be- 
yond that which might have resulted from a rapid 
glance at a Sanscrit grammar. 

In certain cases this irruption of foreign signs 
(altogether analogous to that which has been seen in 
the case of the Martian) is connected with an ac- 
cess of spontaneous somnambulism and makes part 
of a whole troop of images and of Oriental terms. 

An interesting example is found in Fig. 37, which 
reproduces the end of a letter which Hel^ne wrote me 
from the country. All the rest of this six-page let- 
ter is perfectly normal, both as to handwriting and 
content, but suddenly, tired by her effort of pro- 
longed attention, she begins to speak of her health, 
sleep overcomes her, and the last lines show the in- 
vasion of the Oriental dream. 

Kana, the slave, with his tame birds, and the brill- 
iant plants of the tropics, substitute themselves 
httle by little for the actual room. The letter reached 
me unfinished and without signature, as is shown 
in Fig. 37 ; H61fene closed it mechanically during 
her somnambulism, without knowledge of this un- 
usual termination, at which she was surprised and 
annoyed when 1 showed it to her later. 

Examination and comparison of all these grapho- 
motor automatisms show that there are in H61^ne's 



subconsciousness some positive notions, albeit su- 
perficial and rudimentary, of the Sanscrit alpha- 
bet. She knows the exact form of many isolated 
characters, and their general value, in the abstract, 
as it were, but she does not seem to have any idea 
of their concrete use in connection with other letters. 

In a word, these fragments of graphic automa- 
tisms betray a knowledge of Hindoo writing such as 
a curious mind might be able to acquire by perusing 
for some moments the first two or three pages of a 
Sanscrit grammar. It would retain certain de- 
tached forms ; first, the a and the e, which, striking 
the eye at the commencement of the two first lines 
(containing the vowels, and usually separated from 
the following lines containing the consonants) of 
the standard arrangement of the Hindoo letters in 
ten groups ; then the series of ciphers, occupying 
a line by themselves and easy to retain ; finally, 
some other simple signs gleaned at hazard ; but 
there will probably not be retained any of the too 
complicated figures resulting from the union of sev- 
eral characters in order to form words. This sup- 
posed genesis entirely corresponds with the extent 
of the notions as to Sanscrit writing of which Mile. 
Smith's subconsciousness gives evidence. 

It will suffice in summing up, to account for Mile. 
Smith's Hindoo language, that perhaps in the N. 
group, or in some other spiritistic environment of 
which I am ignorant, some one, for the sake of curi- 
osity, may have shown her and allowed her to glance 
over a Sanscrit grammar or lexicon, immediately 
after a seance, during that state of suggestibility in 








Fig, 38. Examples of Sanscrit characters, automatically substituted for French 
words and ciphers, in words and figures appearing in the normal writings of Mile. 
Smith (iame, ruhis, i56, //zs, 2S65, 15^). Natural size. 

which the exterior suggestions are registered very 
strongly in her case, often without leaving traces in 
her conscious memory. The fact will also be ex- 
plained that Helene has no memory whatever of it, 
is absolutely convinced that she never saw or heard 
the least fragment of Sanscrit or any other Oriental 

I ought also to add that the information which I 
have up to the present time been able to gather has 
furnished me with no positive indication of the truth 
of my supposition, while, on the other hand, it has 
not tended to establish its falsity. 



V. The Sources of the Hindoo Dream 

This paragraph will have no meaning whatever 
for those who hold the Oriental cycle to be in reality 
the reappearance in Mile. Smith's somnambulistic 
states, of memories belonging to an anterior existence 
in which she was an Asiatic princess, and I myself 
naik of Tchandraguiri, Professor Seippel, an Arab 
slave, etc. 

I shall confine myself in this case to an expression 
of regret that the chance which has united us afresh, 
after five centuries of separation, did not leave us in 
the midst of those tropical splendors instead of trans- 
porting us to the banks of the Rhone just where 
the fog is densest in winter. It is a severe punish- 
ment for our past misdeeds. But when one pushes 
his skepticism so far as only to see in the entire Hindoo 
dream a fantastic product elaborated out of certain 
scattered facts, as I have done in the preceding para- 
graphs, one is likewise punished for his want of faith 
by the obscure problems which are met with on the 
subject of the sources of this dream. I would say 
also that it is difficult to understand why the hyp- 
noid imagination of Mile. Smith gave itself up to 
such pranks, and distributed as it did the roles of 
this comedy. 

It is easy to understand how a nature given to 

subconscious reveries, and such as I have described 

in the first chapters of this book, has taken pleasure 

in the fiction of the tragic destiny of Simandini, and 

Y 337 


also that she felt specially attracted towards the 
career of Marie Antoinette. 

But M. Seippel, whom I quoted above, has nothing 
about him of the Arab, and still less of the slave, nei- 
ther in outward appearance nor in character ; and as 
to myself, let us say here, M. F. — if I may be permitted 
to substitute harmless ini'tials for the always odious 
"I" — as for M. F., there is generally to be met with 
in him, under some dif&dence, a certain mildness of 
manner and disposition which would scarcely seem 
to predestinate him to the energetic and wild role of 
a violent, whimsical, capricious, and jealous Oriental 

As to the psychological origins of the Hindoo 
dream — considered not so much in its Oriental deco- 
ration, but in its essential note, which is the relation 
of Simandini to Sivrouka (the pretended anteriority 
of M. F.) — two hypotheses can be framed, between 
which it is difficult to choose. 

First. From the point of view of psychopathology 
I should be tempted to cause this entire somnambu- 
listic romance to be included in that which Freud calls 
Abwehrpsy chosen, resulting from a sort of autotomy 
which frees the normal self from an affective idea 
incompatible with it ; which idea revenges itself by 
occasioning very diverse perturbations, according to 
the subjects, from disorders of innervation, coming 
to disturb the daily life (hysteria by somatic con- 
version of the affective coefficient of the repulsed 
idea), up to the case in which the self only escapes 
the intolerable contradiction between the given reality 
and the idea which besets it by plunging itself en- 



tirely into the latter (mental hallucinatory confu- 
sion, delirium, etc.). 

Between these varied results may be found that in 
which the idea excluded from the consciousness be- 
comes the germ of hypnoid developments, the point 
of departure of a secondary consciousness unknown 
to the ordinary personality, the centre of a somnam- 
bulistic life in which the tendencies which the normal 
self has driven far away from it may take refuge 
and give themselves free play. 

This is, perhaps, the happiest solution, from a prac- 
tical and social point of view, since it leaves the in- 
dividual in a state of perfect equilibrium and free 
from nervous troubles, outside of the very limited 
moments in which the underlying processes break 
out in accesses of somnambulism. 

Such may be the case of the Hindoo dream and 
the origin of the attributing of the role of Sivrouka 
to M. F. Nothing, assuredly, in the normal life or 
being of Mile. Smith would cause the suspicion that 
she had ever consciously felt towards the latter the 
absurd sentiments which good sense would have con- 
demned in advance ; but divers hints of her sub- 
liminal life, independently of the Hindoo cycle itself 
(certain dreams, etc.), have sometimes seemed to be- 
tray a latent conflict, which the sane and reasonable 
self would have quickly gotten rid of by the banish- 
ment from the ordinary personahty of the affective 
idea, inadmissible in the given conditions of reality. 
Hence, with a temperament accustomed to medium- 
istic doubling of personality and imbued with spirit- 
istic doctrines, the birth and development, under- 



neath the level of the normal consciousness, of this 
romance of a former existence, in which emotional 
tendencies incompatible with the present life have 
found on occasion a sort of theoretic justification 
and a free field for expansion. 

Secondly : It may also be presumed, and I prefer 
to admit, that the sentiments of Simandini towards 
her fictitious rajah, far from being the reflection and 
somnambulic transposition of an impression really 
felt by Mile. Smith in regard to some one real and 
determined, are only a fantastic creation — like the 
passion with which juvenile imaginations are some- 
times inflamed for an ideal and abstract type while 
awaiting the meeting with a concrete realization 
more or less like it — and that the assimilation of 
Sivrouka to M. F. is only a coincidence due to the 
simple chance of Mile. Smith having made the ac- 
quaintance of M. F. at the time when the Hindoo 
dream was about to begin. Two points strengthen 
this hypothesis of a contingent and superficial con- 
fusion between M. F. and Sivrouka. First, the 
Hindoo dream was evidently begun by a character- 
istic vision in which Simandini appeared, almost 
two months before the admission of M. F. to the 
seances (see pp. 279-281). Instead of supposing 
that the subconsciousness of Mile. Smith fore- 
saw already the probable arrival of this new spec- 
tator, and reserved for him in advance a leading 
role in the romance of former existence which she 
was in process of elaborating (which is not al- 
together impossible, it is true), it hardly seems 
as though M. F. could have stood for anything 



in the dream-personage of Sivrouka. In the second 
place, it is only in the light somnambulisms and 
her mixed or crepuscular states that Mile. Smith 
happens to take M. F. for the Hindoo prince and to 
seat herself at his feet in attitudes of tenderness and 
abandon (without otherwise ever departing from 
the bounds of perfect propriety); as soon as the 
trance becomes profound and the Hindoo somnam- 
bulism complete, M. F. ceases to exist for her, as well 
as the others present, and she then is concerned 
only with an absolutely hallucinatory Sivrouka . This 
is the place to state that Hel^ne has never presented 
any phenomenon similar to — far from it — certain 
cases in which have been seen the awakening in the 
hypnotic subject of gross and more or less bestial 
tendencies, for which the subjects would have blushed 
in their waking state. There is nothing of that nat- 
ure in Mile. Smith. Somnambulism does not de- 
tract in any way from the elevation of her moral 
sense. The same is true of her deepest trances or 
when she "incarnates" personages very different from 
her ordinary character — she never departs from that 
real dignity which is a trait of her normal personality. 
To sum up — the hypothesis of a purely accidental 
identification, a kind of association by simple con- 
tiguity between the Hindoo prince and M. F., seems 
to me, on the whole, the most natural. It releases 
the latter, besides, from all responsibility (altogether 
involuntary, however) for the sentiments so pro- 
found, so disinterested, so worthy of a less tragic 
fate, which the imaginary personage of Sivrouka 
Nayaka inspires in the poor Princess Simandini. 




IF I were obliged to give this cycle a place pro- 
portioned to that which it occupies in the som- 
ambulic life of Mile. Smith, a hundred pages 
would not suffice. But permit me to pass rapidly 
over facts concerning which I should only be obliged 
to repeat the greater part of the observations called 
forth by the preceding romances, which apply equal- 
ly well, mutatis mutandis, to the personification of 
Marie Antoinette by H61&ne. 

The choice of this role is naturally explained by 
the innate tastes of Mile. Smith for everything that, 
is noble, distinguished, elevated above the level of 
the common herd, and by the fact that some exterior 
circumstance fixed her hypnoid attention upon the 
illustrious queen of France in preference to the 
many other historic figures equally qualified to serve 
as a point of attachment for her subconscious mega- 
lomaniac reveries. 

In default of absolutely certain information on 
this point, 1 strongly suspect the engraving from the 
Memoirs of a Physician, representing the dramatic 
scene of the decanter between Balsamo and the Dau- 
phiness, of having given birth to this identifica- 



tion of H61ene with Marie Antoinette, as well as to 
that of her secondary personality of Leopold with 

We have, in fact, seen that this engraving (pp. 94- 
95), so well calculated to impress the imagination, 
was shown to Mile. Smith by Mme. B. at the end of a 
seance— that is, at a moment when one is never sure 
that H^lene's return to her normal state is complete, 
and in which her hypnoid personality, still on a level 
with consciousness, so to speak, is very prone to ab- 
sorb the interesting suggestions which the environ- 
ment may furnish. It was several months — a year 
and a quarter, possibly — after this incident (the pre- 
cise date of which, in 1892 or 1893, it is impossible 
to determine) that announcement was made by the 
table, on the 30th of January, 1894, that H61ene 
was the reincarnation of Marie Antoinette. It is to be 
recollected that in the interval she had for some time 
believed herself to be the reincarnation of Lorenza 
Feliciani ; it is, however, to be noted that these two 
successive identifications did not have the same 
guarantee or psychological signification. In fact, it 
was Mile. Smith, in the waking state — that is, in her 
normal personality — who accepted the supposition 
of Mme. B., that she was the reincarnation of Loren- 
za; but the table — i.e., her subconsciousness — always 
remained silent on this point. On the contrary, the 
idea of having been Marie Antoinette does not seem 
to have occurred to Heltee's ordinary consciousness 
up to the time at which Leopold revealed this secret 
by the table. If any conclusion may be drawn from 
this, it is that, under the multiple suggestions of the 



engraving from Dumas' works and the suppositions 
of Mme. B., the hypnoid imagination of Mile. Smith 
at first preferred to the role of Lorenza that of Marie 
Antoinette, which is undoubtedly more flattering and 
more conformable to li^l^ne's temperament, and then 
elaborated and matured it, very slowly, it is true, 
but not excessively so, in comparison with other ex- 
amples of subliminal incubations of Mile. Smith. 

From the point of view of its psychological forms 
of manifestation, the Royal cycle from that time fol- 
lowed an evolution analogous to that of its congeners 
described in the preceding chapters. After some 
months, during which it unfolded itself in visions 
described by H61^ne and accompanied by typto- 
logical explanations dictated by the table, the trance 
became more profound. Mile. Smith began to per- 
sonate the queen in pantomime, of which Leopold 
gave the exact signification by digital indications. 
Speech was added the year following, at a date 
which I cannot fix, but the first occasion on which 
1 was a witness to it was on the 13th of October, 
1895. Handwriting only made its appearance, as 
far as I am aware, two years later (November i, 
1897, see Fig. 39), when the royal incarnation at- 
tained its apogee and H61^ne was in the habit of re- 
taining in memory the somnambulistic role of Marie 
Antoinette for several hours. Since then the role 
has maintained itself at a very remarkable level of 
perfection, but it scarcely seems to me progressing, 
and seems likely to become stereotyped. The ob- 
jectivity of the general type of queen must be dis- 
tinguished in this brilliant personality, or at least 


CC He. ■ qu '<J^10^ ^ 

Fig. 39. First known example of automatic irruption of tlie orthography and hand- 
writing called that of Marie Antoinette among the normal writings of Mile. Smith. 
Fragments of a letter of Helen of November i, 1897, narrating a seance during 
which she had successfully incarnated the queen of France and the Hindoo prin- 
cess. [Collection of M. Lemaitre.] See also p 

that of a lady of great distinction, as well as a real- 
ization of the individual characteristics of Marie 
Antoinette of Austria. As to the first point there is 
almost nothing left to be desired. Mile. Smith seems 
by nature to possess all that this role demands, and 
hypnoid autosuggestion finds no lack of material 
upon which to work. 



When the royal trance is complete no one can fail 
to note the grace, elegance, distinction, majesty some- 
times, which shine forth in H^lfene's every attitude 
and gesture. 

She has verily the bearing of a queen. The more 
delicate shades of expression, a charming amiability, 
condescending hauteur, pity, indifference, overpow- 
ering scorn flit successively over her countenance 
and are manifested in her bearing, to the filing by 
of the courtiers who people her dream. The play of 
her hands with her real handkerchief and its fictitious 
accessories, the fan, the binocle with long handle, the 
scent-bottle which she carries in a pocket in her gir- 
dle ; her courtesyings, the movement, full of grace 
and ease, by which she never forgets at each turning 
around, to throwback her imaginary train; everything 
of this kind, which cannot be described, is perfect in its 
ease and naturalness. Special personification of the 
unhappy Austrian wife of Louis XVI. is of a less evi- 
dent, and moreover doubtful, accuracy. To judge of 
it from the only objective point of comparison at our 
disposal, the handwriting (see Figs. 39 to 41), the 
Marie Antoinette of H61^ne's somnambulisms little 
resembles her supposed prototype, for there is less 
of difference between the autographs of Cagliostro 
and of Leopold (see p. 109) than there is between that 
of the real queen and that of her pretended reincarna- 
tion in Mile. Smith, the latter having a rounded, in- 
clined calligraphy, much more regular than in her 
normal state, instead of the angular and illegible writ- 
ing which was characteristic of the queen of France, 
to say nothing of the glaring differences in formation 




Fig. 40. Writing of Mile. Smith iacarnating Marie Antoinette. Seance of Novem- 
ber 7, 1897. Beginning of a letter, written in ink and addressed to Philippe 
d'OrMans (M. Aug. de Morsier, who was not present at the seance). After the 
ink-stains of the last line, H^l^ne threw down her pencil, then began again and 
finished her letter in pencil in a still more regular and slanting hand than the 

Llit- at*t^i)tta 

\/,iU) ^mvc^^eT^^J hif,:i.o,<y>tl^ tft<tji,/e,if /j.>^i^ 
iy<£ '^■tir*t-ft lu trt « /f/'tJ ;i^'tii tihtT'-Lr^ f*t a^^yd'f-uurf ti. 

rS'/r/e /?ftl^/7ify<: 

Fig. 41. Writing and signature of Marie Antoinette. Fragment of a letter written 
from the Temple to General de Jamayes, and reproduced in the Isografihie des 
Hommes ciUbres. [Collection of fac-similes published under the direction of Du- 
chesne, Sr., Paris, 1827-30.] 



of many letters. Some orthographic analogies (H6- 
l&ne writes instans, enfans, etois, etc.) have nothing 
specific about them, and simply recall the general 
habits of the last century (see p. 112). 

Not having discovered any indication as to Marie 
Antoinette's manner of speaking, I do not know 
whether the hypnoid imagination of H61fene has 
succeeded better than with the handwriting in adopt- 
ing in her royal incarnations certain intonations 
and a pronunciation which have nothing of German 
in them, and would rather recall the English accent. 
The timbre of her voice does not change, but her 
speech becomes trailing, with a slight rolling of the 
r's, and takes on something precise and affected, very 
pretty, but slightly irritating by its length. We al- 
ready know that there is not an absolute wall of 
separation between H^l^ne's various trances. Just 
as is the case with the Martian and the Hindoo, 
the handwriting or the spelling of the queen some- 
times slips into the correspondence of Mile. Smith 
(see Pig. 39), and she also sometimes assumes the 
accent of Marie Antoinette, if not in the ordinary 
waking state (I do not know whether that is ever the 
case), at least outside her Royal cycle, especially in 
the phases of transition in which she begins or ends 
by incarnating Leopold, the Martians, etc. (see, for 
example, p. 56). 

From the point of view of its content, the Royal cycle 
forms a collection of scenes and varied tableaux, like 
the Martian dream, lacking any continuous plot, and in 
which marked historic events scarcely hold a place — 
e. g., in it the queen is never seen to mount the scaffold 



as Simandini ascends her funeral pile. One does not 
always even know whether the spectacle before our 
eyes is supposed to be the repetition, the exact recol- 
lection, of unknown but real episodes in the life of 
Marie Antoinette, or indeed whether it has to do with 
new, actual incidents passing now between the rein- 
carnated queen and her old acquaintances whom 
she discovers in the persons present at the seance or 
in the disincarnate spirits in mediumistic relation- 
ship with her. That depends on the case — e. g., on 
the 25th of December, 1896, Mile. Smith, entranced, 
addresses touching exhortations to a lady present 
whom she took for the Princess Lamballe, which, 
according to Leopold, is a reproduction of the last 
evening which the unhappy queen, sustained by her 
companion in captivity, passed in this world. (It is 
true that at Christmas, 1792, the princess had al- 
ready, three months previously, fallen a victim to the 
massacres of September.) Again the Abb6 Gr6goire 
dictates by the table, which bows significantly to 
Heltoe, "I desired to save you, but I was not able "; or 
the sinister Hubert says to her by the same process, 
" I was the cause of your death . . . I suffer ; pray 
for me." Ought we to consider real the homage and 
the posthumous remorse which these two disincar- 
nate spirits bring after the lapse of a century to 
their sovereign, finally recognized in the person of 
Mile. Smith ? 

Generally it is impossible to decide whether the 
incident transpiring pretends simply to republish 
the past or constitutes a new fact. 

The location of the royal scenes and visions is 


often undetermined. Many are located in the gar- 
dens or the apartments of the Petit Trianon, and 
the furniture which Hdl^ne describes there is, in- 
deed, always pure Louis XVI. More rarely Marie 
Antoinette is found at the Temple, or at certain 
rendezvous — innocent, but very imprudent — in some 
secret abode in Paris. She is never seen in Austria, 
since, unlike the Hindoo princess still filled with her 
Arab memories, she seems to have completely lost 
sight of her past as a young girl. 

In the surroundings of the queen, the king is 
conspicuous by his absence ; very rarely she makes 
some allusions to hira with a marked indiffer- 
ence. The greater part of the personages known 
to that epoch, whom I refrain from enumerating, 
figure in it incidentally, but there are three who 
continually reappear and hold the first rank. There 
is, first, the Count of Cagliostro, " mon sorcier," 
or " ce cher sorcier," as the queen familiarly calls 
him, who never has enough of his visits and his 
conversations, which are very varied, including the 
discussion of philosophic subjects, such as the fut- 
ure life and the existence of God as well as the gos- 
sip of the last fite at Versailles. There is, secondly, 
Louis Philippe d'Orl^ans (Equality) ; while the third 
is the old Marquis de Mirabeau ; all of whom, es- 
pecially the first, have served as hallucinatory inter- 
locutors towards H61^ne in numerous scenes — up to 
the time at which, to the great amusement of the 
sitters, the somnambulistic monologue was trans- 
formed into real and lively conversation, in conse- 
quence of the introduction into the seances of M. Eu- 



g^ne Demole, then of M. Aug. de Morsier, in whom 
Marie Antoinette immediately recognized the two 
personages last above mentioned. 

Since this unexpected meeting with her two con- 
temporaries, reincarnated, like herself, the somnam- 
bulistic queen freely permits herself, on occasion, the 
pleasure of renewing the little suppers and joyous 
evenings of long ago. When a seance which has 
lasted from four o'clock until seven in the afternoon 
seems to have come to an end, and Mile. Smith, after 
having awakened from a long series of Hindoo, 
Martian, and other scenes, has been invited to dine 
and refresh herself before taking up her household 
duties, it often happens that, perceiving M. Demole 
or M. de Morsier among the persons present, she 
gives a slight start, with a change of countenance, 
sometimes barely perceptible, but which there is no 
mistaking ; then, in her very characteristic accent 
of Marie Antoinette, exclaims, " Oh, marquis, you 
have been here, and I had not noticed you before !" 
And then follows a somnambulistic vigil which may 
be prolonged until nearly ten o'clock in the evening, 
maintained by means of the suggestive amiability of 
her improvised companions in sustaining their roles 
of Mirabeau or Philippe d'Orleans. 

They descend to the dining-room. The queen 
takes her place at the table alongside of the marquis 
(or of Philippe). She has eyes and ears for him 
alone, the other guests and the servants remaining 
shut out from her dream. She eats and drinks only 
that which he sets before her, and it is no sinecure 
to supply the wants of this august neighbor, since 



she possesses a truly royal appetite. The amount 
of food which she devours and the goblets of wine 
which she drinks off one after another, without suf- 
fering any inconvenience, are astounding, as in her 
normal state Mile. Smith is sobriety itself and eats 
very little. After dinner they pass into the salon, 
with many compliments and obeisances, and Marie 
Antoinette takes coffee. On the first occasions of 
this kind, she also accepted a cigarette from Philippe 
and smoked it — Mile. Smith never smokes in her 
waking state — but the remarks of the persons pres- 
ent upon the historical untruthfulness of this feature 
must have been registered, and bore fruit, since at the 
following seances she did not seem to understand 
the use of tobacco in that form ; she accepted, on 
the other hand, with eagerness, a pinch of imaginary 
snuff, which almost immediately brought about by 
autosuggestion a series of sneezes admirably suc- 

The evening passes in most varied conversation, 
until, evidently feeling fatigue, the queen becomes 
silent, closes her eyes, and goes to sleep in an 
easy-chair. At that instant Leopold, who gives 
no sign of life, and from whom no response can be 
obtained during the royal somnambulism, reap- 
pears and answers by the fingers or manifests him- 
self in spontaneous gestures. H61fene's hand, e. g., 
is raised, and makes passes on her forehead to ac- 
centuate the restorative sleep which is about to bring 
her back to her normal state. At the end of some 
time — half an hour or more — she awakes without 
any recollection of the evening, believing that she 



has not yet dined, and complaining of hunger and 
thirst, as if her stomachic sensibihty participated 
in the amnesia and other modifications which ac- 
company the change of personahty. Nevertheless, 
at such times I have never seen her accept anything 
more than a couple of glasses of water, after which 
she feels wide awake. 

In escorting her home, I was witness on one oc- 
casion to a return of the royal somnambulism. She 
was exceedingly desirous of going to the house of a 
well-known personage (whom she had perceived in 
her vision during the seance), who had been re- 
ceived at the court of Marie Antoinette, and who died 
in Geneva in the first quarter of this century ; it 
was only upon arriving before the house in which 
he had lived, and as she was upon the verge of en- 
tering it, that 1 finally succeeded in awakening and 
restoring her to herself, without memory of the in- 
cident, and very much astonished at the unaccus- 
tomed streets in which we found ourselves. 

It is useless to give a more circumstantial narra- 
tion of these dinners and soirees of Marie Antoinette. 
They are very entertaining for the spectators, but lose 
much of their interest when related in their entirety. 
Their details are exactly what might be expected 
of a lively subliminal imagination, alert and full of 
verve, abundantly supplied, on account of the illus- 
trious queen, with notions still more easily explica- 
ble, thanks to the intellectual atmosphere of France, 
than those of the Hindoo cycle. 

Numerous anachronisms, however, slip into them, 
and her Majesty sometimes falls into the snares 
z 353 


which the marquis or Philippe take a mahcious 
pleasure in setting for her. She often escapes them 
when they are too clumsy, and, with a most comical 
display of temper, is at first confused, then curiously 
questions, or manifests uneasiness in regard to the 
mental state of her interlocutors when they intro- 
duce the telephone, the bicycle, steamships, or the 
modern scientific vocabulary into their eighteenth- 
century conversation. But, on the other hand, she 
herself employs terms still more malapropos, such 
as, " to derail " (figuratively), " metre " and " centi- 
metre," etc. Certain words, such as " tramway " and 
"photography," have occasioned serious conflicts. 
Marie Antoinette first allows the treacherous word 
to pass unnoticed, and it is evident that she perfectly 
understood it, but her own reflection, or the smile of 
the sitters, awakens in her the feeling of incompati- 
bility ; she returns to the word just used, and pre- 
tends a sudden ignorance and astonishment in re- 
gard to it. Spiritism explains these blunders by 
accusing the Machiavelian companions of the queen 
of grossly abusing the suggestibility attached to 
the trance state by jumbling her ideas and throw- 
ing her into confusion. Psychology is not sur- 
prised that the subliminal imitation, however re- 
markable it may be, presents some little defects, and 
every one is in accord in regard to her thought- 
less manner of expressing herself, in attributing 
these anachronisms to an accidental mingling of 
the memories of her ordinary personality and of the 
present life with those of the royal personality re- 
vived during the somnambulism. In her role as 



queen. Mile. Smith gives evidence of a great deal 
of ingenuity. She is full of witty repartees, which 
disconcert her interlocutors, the style of which is 
sometimes perfectly after the manner of the epoch. 

This ease and readiness of dialogue, excluding 
all reflective or calculating preparation, denote a 
great freedom of mind and a wonderful facility for 
improvisation. There are mixed with these, on the 
other hand, some witticisms and episodes which are 
not at all impromptu, but are the evident result of a 
preliminary elaboration in the course of the sub- 
conscious reveries and various automatisms which 
the royal romance causes to surge up in H616ne's 
ordinary life. 

There are some scenes whose development or repe- 
tition can be followed in a series of seances and spon- 
taneous visions as it passes through the other cycles. 
The following is one example among many : 

At the end of a seance at which M. de Morsier was 
present (October lo, 1897), Mile. Smith enters into 
her dream of Marie Antoinette. During dinner she 
makes several allusions to her son, the Dauphin, 
speaks of her daughter, tells of having demanded of 
her sorcerer the sex of her next child, etc. — matters 
all foreign to the conversation of Philippe, and which 
seem to announce some underlying scene ready to 
break forth. In fact, in the middle of the soiree 
the queen becomes absorbed and distrait, and finally 
falls on her knees in a dark corner of the salon ; her 
monologue indicates that she is before the cradle 
where the little Dauphin and his sister are lying 
asleep. Presently she returns to seek Philippe and 



to conduct him to admire the sleeping children, to 
whom, in a very soft voice, she sings an unknown 
nursery rhyme (" Sleep in peace," etc.) of a plaintive 
melody analogous to that of the Hindoo chant ; the 
tears gush from her eyes ; tender kisses upon the 
imaginary cradle and a fervent prayer to the Virgin 
terminate this extremely touching maternal scene. 

Several weeks after (the 1st of December), a new 
romance makes its appearance in a spontaneous 
access of visual, auditive, and graphic automatism, 
the recital of which H^lfene sent me the following 
day. That evening, while alone with her mother, she 
had interrogated Leopold upon an affair in which 
she was greatly interested, and had obtained from 
him an answer : " As soon as his communication 
was ended, I saw everything disturbed around me ; 
then at my left, at a distance of about thirty feet, a 
Louis XVI. salon, not very large, was outlined, in 
the middle of which was a square piano, open. Be- 
fore this piano was seated a woman, still young, 
the color of whose hair I could not distinguish. 
Whether it was blond or gray I could not clearly 
see. She played and sang at the same time. The 
sounds of the piano, the voice even, reached me, but 
I could not catch the words of the song. A young 
girl and a boy stood on either side of the piano. Not 
far from them was seated a young lady holding 
an infant on her lap.* This charming vision lasted 
a very short time, not longer than ten minutes." 

* It will be readily understood that this vision represents 
Marie Antoinette with her three children and Madame Elizabeth. 



After the disappearance of the vision, H^l^ne had 
the idea of taking up her pencil. " With pencil in hand, 
1 was asking myself what I should write, when all at 
once 1 heard again the melody ; then, this time very 
distinctly, the words, but without any vision. The 
whole passed into my head, into my brain, and 
instinctively I pressed my hand to my forehead in 
order to hear and understand better. 1 felt myself 
compelled to hold the pencil in a manner different 
from my habitual way of holding it. Here are the 
words of the song heard and traced at that instant. 
As you see, the handwriting is not like mine ; there 
are also some very glaring errors of orthography. 

" Approchez-vous approchez-vous | enfans ch^ris approchez- 
vous I quand le printemps sur nous ramene | ses frais parfums 
ses rayons d'or | venez enfans sous son haleine | gazouiller bas 
mes doux trfesors | approchez-vous approchez-vous | enfans 
chferis approchez-vous | etres chferis enfans bfenis — approchez- 
vous de votre mere | son doux baiser petits amis | calme et guSrit 
toutes mis^res | approchez-vous approchez-vous | enfans cheris 
approchez-vous." * 

Some months later the two preceding scenes were 
reproduced, with variations of detail, on the same 
evening, during which Marie Antoinette first con- 
ducts Philippe towards the fictitious cradle of her 
cherubs and sings to them her first song : " Sleep in 

* I have respected the orthography as well as the complete ab- 
sense of punctuation of this bit of automatic writing, confining 
myself to marking by vertical bars its evident separation into 
verses of eight feet. It is written in the inclined and regular 
hand called that of Marie Antoinette (like that of Fig. 40), but 
with a pencil too pale to permit its reproduction. 



peace/' etc. Then she leads him to the piano, and, 
displaying an imaginary sheet of music beneath 
his eyes, obliges him to accompany her while she 
sings the " Song of Elizabeth." 

M. de Morsier, who, fortunately, is not easily em- 
barrassed, improvised an accompaniment to which 
the queen accommodated herself after some criti- 
cism, and to which she sings in a very sweet, pure 
voice some words which were found to be, word for 
word, identical with those automatically written b}' 
H^l^ne on the preceding 1st of December. In this 
example is seen the mixture of preparation, of repe- 
tition, and of impromptu, which are inferred from the 
varied incidents which constitute the royal soirees. 

It is probable that if it were possible to be a witness 
of, or if Mile. Smith could remember all the spon- 
taneous automatisms which aid in nourishing the 
royal romance, nocturnal dreams, hypnagogic vi- 
sions, subconscious reveries during the waking state, 
etc., there would be presented interminable imagi- 
nary conversations with the marquis, Philippe, Cag- 
liostro, and all the fictitious personages who occa- 
sionally make their appearance in the somnambu- 
listic scenes of Marie Antoinette. 

It is by this underlying and unknown work, per- 
haps never interrupted, that the personality of the 
queen of France is slowly prepared and elaborated, 
and which shines forth and displays itself with so 
much of magnificence in the soirees with Philippe 
d'Orl^ans and the Marquis de Mirabeau. 

I have stated that, except these two gentlemen, 
who always form part of the royal dream when they 



are present (and even sometimes when absent), the 
others present at the seances are excluded. It is 
understood that they do not pass unperceived on 
this account. 

In the same manner as in the negative hallucina- 
tions or systematic aneesthesia of hypnotized sub- 
jects, that which seems to be not felt is nevertheless 
registered ; so, in like manner, it is altogether prob- 
able that nothing of that which passes around her 
escapes the fundamental individuality of Mile. Smith. 
The royal personality which occupies the foreground 
of the scene and finds itself in an elective rapport, 
limited to Philippe and the marquis, merely causes 
the other personalities to be relegated to the back- 
ground without breaking their connection with the 
environment. There are many proofs of this. For 
example, in walking, Marie Antoinette never runs 
against any of the others present. The remarks and 
criticisms of the latter are not lost upon her, since 
very frequently her conversation betrays their in- 
fluence after some minutes. At the same time, if 
any one pinches her hand or tickles her ear, her lips, 
her nostrils, she seems anaesthetic ; still, at the end 
of a few seconds she turns her head away, and if the 
tickling is persisted in, she experiences a kind of 
agitation accommodated to the circumstances of her 
dream, changes her position on some pretext, etc. 

It is manifest, in short, that the excitations to 
which she seems to be insensible at the moment, far 
from having no effect, are stored up and produce, by 
their sum total, reactions which are retarded for some 
minutes and which are intelligently adapted to the 



somnambulistic scene, but with an intensity much 
more exaggerated than diminished by this period of 

Music also aJEfects her, precipitating her out of the 
dream of Marie Antoinette into a common hypnotic 
state, in which she assumes passionate attitudes, 
which have in them nothing of the regal, and which 
conform to the varied airs which follow each other 
upon the piano. 

In her phases as Marie Antoinette, H61fene has an 
accent characteristic of it; she recognizes me vaguely; 
she has some allochiria, a complete insensibility of 
the hands, and a large appetite ; she does not know 
who Mile. Smith is ; if she is asked to give the actual 
date, she replies correctly as to the month and day, 
but indicates a year of the last century, etc. Then all 
at once her state changes ; the royal accent gives 
way to her ordinary voice, she seems wide awake, 
all mental confusion has disappeared, she is perfect- 
ly clear as to persons, dates, and circumstances, but 
has no memory of the state from which she has just 
emerged, and she complains of a sharp pain in her 
finger (where I had pinched it while in her preceding 
phase). I took advantage one day of these alter- 
nations to offer her a pencil, and dictated to her the 
sentence of Fig. 42. In her normal moments she 
holds the pencil in her accustomed manner, between 
the index and middle fingers, and writes in her 
usual hand ; during the returns of the royal som- 
nambulism she holds it between the thumb and 
index-finger and assumes her handwriting and or- 
thography known as that of Marie Antoinette, 



exactly as her voice is invested with the accent. 
It is to be presumed that all her other functions, if 
one could examine them, would show parallel anal- 
ogous variations, the changing of the personality 
being naturally accompanied by connected changes 
not only of the memory and the sensibility, but of 
motility of the emotional disposition — in brief, of all 
the faculties of the individuality. 

I must add that in each of her states Hel^ne has 
the memory of preceding periods of the same kind, 
but not of another state : it was, for example, neces- 
sary to dictate anew, for the second test, the sentence 
of Fig. 42, which she did not remember having heard 
or written a few minutes previously. This separa- 
tion into distinct memories is not, however, absolute, 
nor very profound : the personality of Marie An- 

Fig. 42. DifEerences of handwriting of Mile. Smith at the end of an incarnation of 
Marie Antoinette, according to whether she is in her normal state (upper lines, in 
her usual handwriting), or in a return of the royal dream (lower lines; note the 
■sNorAyoisoii). Natural size. The tremor of some of the strokes is not in th? 
original, but occurred in the reproduction in ink. 



toinette is, in short, a modification — of an intensity 
and extent which vary greatly with the seances — of 
the ordinary personality of Mile. Smith, rather than 
an alternating and exclusive personality, of which so 
many striking cases have been observed. 

For the mere spectators, the royal somnambulism is 
perhaps the most interesting of all of H61fene's cycles, 
on account of the brilliancy and life of the role, the 
length of time during which it may be sustained, 
the unexpected happenings which the presence of 
other real persons brings into it. It is truly a com- 

But for the lovers of the supernormal it is the least 
extraordinary of -the subliminal creations of Mile. 
Smith, because the general environment, being in 
France, is so imbued with historic or legendary mem- 
ories of the illustrious and unfortunate queen that 
there is nothing surprising in the hypnoid recon- 
struction of a personage so well known. 

Finally, the psychologist and moralist who un- 
dertakes to reflect on the inner meaning of things 
cannot escape the impression of sharp contrast as 
compared with reality which this sparkling romance 

In themselves. Mile. Smith's royal somnambulisms 
are almost always gay and joyous ; but, considering 
their hidden source, in so far as they are the ephe- 
meral and chimerical revenge of the ideal upon the 
real, of impossible dreams upon daily necessities, of 
impotent aspirations upon blind and crushing des- 
tiny, they assume a tragic signification. They ex- 
press the sensation lived through, felt, of the bitter 



irony of things, of futile revolt, of fatality dominat- 
ing the human being. They seem to say that all 
happy and brilliant life is only an illusion soon dis- 
pated. The daily annihilation of the dream and the 
desire by implacable and brutal reality cannot find 
in the hypnoid imagination a more adequate repre- 
sentation, a more perfect symbol of an emotional 
tonality, than her royal majesty whose existence 
seemed made for the highest peaks of happiness 
and of fame — and ended on the scaffold. 



THE mediumship of Mile. Smith is full of facts 
supernormal in appearance, and the question 
which offers itself for our solution is that of 
determining to what extent they are super- 
normal in reality. 

The title of this chapter, I must assert, is not to be 
understood in a partisan sense. The term " appear- 
ances " is not used in its unfavorable acceptation, as 
meaning that they are deceptive, and that there is 
nothing behind them. It is taken in a frank and im- 
partial sense, to designate simply the exterior and 
immediate aspect of a thing, without prejudging its 
real nature, in order, by the very force of this neutral- 
ity, to provoke investigation destined to separate the 
true from the false, the pure gold from the dross. It 
is precisely this investigation which constitutes my 
present task. 

A rather difficult task, for it is always risky to 
touch upon a subject which is an apple of discord 
among psychologists, and which has even been 
considered the " Dreyfus case of science." The mat- 
ter is complicated, too, in this particular case, by the 
absolute faith of Mile. Smith and her friends in the 



supernormal character of her phenomena ; a state of 
mind extremely worthy of respect, but which is not 
calculated to facilitate research, all desire of or- 
dinary analysis and explanation being resented by 
them as an unjustifiable suspicion, interpreted as 
being an indication of invincible skepticism. 

I. The Study of the Supernormal 

The term " supernormal " has been used for some 
years by the investigators of the Society for Psychi- 
cal Research to take the place of the old word " su- 
pernatural," which has become impracticable on 
account of interloping connections, which finally 
caused its use to be limited to theological and philo- 
sophical environments. Mr. Meyers, to whom the 
credit is due, if I am not mistaken, of coining this as 
well as many other new terms used to-day in the psy- 
chical vocabulary, applies it to every phenomenon or 
faculty which passes beyond ordinary experience, and 
reveals either a degree of higher evolution not yet at- 
tained by the mass of humanity, or an order of tran- 
scendental things superior to the world of sense. In 
these two cases one finds one's self, indeed, in the pres- 
ence of facts which are above the normal, but which 
are by no means to be taken as foreign or contrary to 
the true laws of human nature (as the word " super- 
natural" would imply). 

It is to be observed that the definition of Mr. Meyers 
lays stress upon the character of superiority of su- 
pernormal phenomena. I shall, however, separate 
this character from it in the present chapter, and in 



spite of the etymology, and for lack of any better 
term, shall simply use the word " supernormal " to 
designate facts which come within the actual frame- 
work of the science of to-day, and the application of 
which would necessitate principles not yet admitted 
— without occupying myself, however, with endeav- 
oring to ascertain whether these,facts are messengers 
of a superior economy or forerunners of a future evolu- 
tion rather than the survival of a condition of things 
which has disappeared, or whether they are purely 
accidental, lusus naturae, denuded of signification. 

It goes without saying that in treating of the super- 
normal we must admit theoretically its possibility, or 
— which amounts to about the same thing — fail to be- 
lieve in the infallibility and perfection of present-day 
science. If I consider it, h priori, absolutely impossi- 
ble for an individual to know, some time before the ar- 
rival of a telegram containing the news, of an accident 
by which his brother at the antipodes has been killed, 
or that another can voluntarily move an object at a 
distance without having a string attached to it, and 
contrary to the laws of mechanics and physiology, it 
is clear that I will shrug my shoulders at every men- 
tion of telepathy, and I shall not move a step to be 
present at a seance of Eusapia Paladino. What an 
excellent means of enlarging one's horizon and of 
discovering something new, by being satisfied with 
one's ready-made science and preconceived opinion, 
quite convinced beforehand that the universe ends at 
the wall opposite, and that there is nothing to be ob- 
tained beyond that which the daily routine has accus- 
tomed us to look upon as the limit of the Real I This 



philosophy of the ostrich, illustrated formerly by those 
grotesque monuments of erudition — over whom Gali- 
leo did not know whether to laugh or weep — who re- 
fused to put their eyes to the glass for fear of seeing 
something that had no official right to existence ; and, 
again, that of many brains petrified by the unseason- 
able reading of works of scientific vulgarization, and 
the unintelligent frequenting of universities — these 
are the two great intellectual dangers of our time. 

If, on the other hand, the philosophical doubt de- 
generates in the presence of these scientific impos- 
sibilities into blind credulity ; if it suffices that a thing 
be unheard of, upsetting, contrary to common-sense 
and to accepted truths, in order to be immediately 
admitted, practical existence, without speaking of 
other considerations, becomes unbearable. The 
convinced occultist ought never to allow the creak- 
ing of a piece of furniture to pass without assuring 
himself that it is not the desperate call of some great- 
grandaunt trying to enter into conversation with 
him ; nor to complain to the police when he finds his 
house upset during his absence — for how is he to 
know that it is not some " elementals " from the 
world beyond who have done the deed ? It is by the 
fortunate failure of consequences alone, and a con- 
tinual forgetting of the doctrine, that one can con- 
tinue to live in a universe constantly exposed to the 
capricious incursions of the " invisibles." 

These opposite turns of the mind — the invincible 
fatuity of some and the silly superstition of others — 
inspire many people with an equal repugnance. The 
need of a happy medium between these opposed ex- 



cesses has been felt for some time. Here are, for 
example, a few lines, which have lost nothing after 
the lapse of two centuries : 

" What are we to think of magic and witchcraft 
[to-day we would say ' occultism ' and ' spiritism ']? 
Their theory is obscure, their principles vague, un- 
certain, approaching the visionary ; but — they are 
embarrassing facts, affirmed by grave men, who 
have seen them, or who have heard of them from per- 
sons like themselves ; to admit them all, or to deny 
them all, seems equally embarrassing, and I dare 
to assert that in this, as in all extraordinary things 
which depend upon customary rules, there is a happy 
medium to be found between credulous souls and 
strong minds." 

It is the voice of reason itself that the sagacious 
author of Les Caracteres permits us to hear. We 
must, however, add that this " happy medium to be 
found " would not consist in a theory, a doctrine, a 
ready-made and entire system, from the height of 
which, as from a tribunal of arbitration, we would 
judge the " embarrassing cases " which reality places 
in the path of the seeker ; for this system — how- 
ever perfect it might be — would again be one more 
infallibility added to all those which already encum- 
ber the road to truth. The " happy medium " dreamed 
of by La Bruyere can be but a "method" always 
perfectible in its application and prejudging in noth- 
ing the results of investigation which go against 
the grain of the dogmatic points of view, equally 
authoritative and sterile, which characterize the two 
extremes of the " credulous souls " and " strong minds. " 



To develop here this methodology of psychical 
research which might guide the investigator strug- 
gling with the apparent or real supernormal, would 
take me too far from Mile. Smith. But I will briefly 
indicate its essence and general spirit, of which an 
excellent summary may be found in the following 
passage of Laplace : 

" We are so far from knowing all the agents of 
nature and their divers modes of action that it would 
not be philosophical to deny phenomena solely be- 
cause they are inexplicable in the actual state of our 
knowledge. But we ought to examine them with 
an attention all the more scrupulous as it appears 
more dif&cult to admit them." 

In writing these words Laplace hardly thought of 
telepathy, of the spirits, or the movements of objects 
without contact, but only of animal magnetism, 
which represented the supernormal of his time. This 
passage remains none the less the rule of conduct 
to be followed concerning all the possible manifesta- 
tions of this multiform subject. Two inseparable 
facts, completing each other, as the faces of a medal, 
may be distinguished in it ; but it is advisable, in 
order to place them the better in the light, to formu- 
late them separately into two propositions represent- 
ing the governing principles, the axioms of all inves- 
tigations of the supernormal. The one, which I shall 
call " Principle of Hamlet," may be condensed 
in these words : All is possible. The o^her, to which 
it is but just to leave the name of " PRINCIPLE OF 
Laplace," is susceptible of many forms of expres- 
sion. I shall express it thus : The weight of the 
2 A 369 


evidence should be proportioned to the strangeness of the 

The forgetfulness of the " Principle of Hamlel " 
makes the " strong minds/' for whom the limits of 
nature would not exceed those of their system, the 
simpleton popes of all times and of, all kinds, from 
the burlesque adversaries of Galileo to the poor Au- 
guste Comte, declaring that the physical constitution 
of the stars would never be known, and to his noble 
rivals of the learned societies, denying the aerolites or 
condemning railroads beforehand. In its turn, the 
ignorance of the " Principle of Laplace " makes the 
" credulous souls," who have never reflected that, if 
all is possible to the eyes of the modest seeker, all is, 
however, not certain, or even equally possible, and 
that some evidence would yet be necessary in order 
to suppose that a stone falling on the floor in an oc- 
cult reunion arrived there through the walls by the 
aid of a dematerialization, rather than to admit that 
it came there in the pocket of a joker. 

Thanks to these axioms, the investigator will avoid 
the doubly signalled danger, and will advance with- 
out fear into the labyrinth of the supernormal in ad- 
vance of the monsters of the occult. However fan- 
tastic and magical the things may be which will 
spring up before his eyes or which will fill his ears, 
he will never be taken unawares, but, expecting all 
in the name of the " Principle of Hamlet," he will not 
be astonished at anything, and simply say : " Be it 
so! Why not ? We shall see." On the other hand, 
he will not allow the wool to be pulled over his eyes, 
and he will not easily be satisfied in the matter of 



evidence ; but, firmly intrenched behind the " Prin- 
ciple of Laplace," he will show himself all the more 
exacting as to the proofs, in proportion to the degree 
in which the phenomena or the conclusion, which 
they may wish him to accept, may be extraordinary, 
and he will oppose a merciless non liquet to every 
demonstration which still seems suspicious or lame. 

1 wish to speak a word here of the inevitable role 
which the personal coefficient of the turn of mind and 
character plays in the concrete application of the 
" Principle of Laplace." This latter is of a vague- 
ness and a deplorable elasticity which opens the door 
to all divergences of individual appreciation. If we 
could express in a precise manner and translate in 
ciphers, on the one hand, the strangeness of a fact, 
which makes it improbable; on the other hand, the 
weight of evidence which tends to make it admissible ; 
and, finally, the demandable proportion between these 
two contrary factors, so that the second may counter- 
balance the first and secure assent — that would be 
perfect, and everybody would soon come to an agree- 
ment. Unhappily, the means to accomplish this re- 
sult is not yet perceived. 

We must pass now to the weight of the evidence. 
We may, up to a certain point, submit it to an objec- 
tive judgment and to an impartial estimation by 
following the rules and methods of logic, in the 
broadest sense of the term. But the strangeness of 
the facts, or, as Laplace said, the difficulty in ad- 
mitting them ! Who, then, is to be the judge of 
them, and by what universal standard can we 
measure them ? 



We must recognize that we are here in presence 
of an eminently subjective and emotional factor, 
changeable from one individual to another. 

It is necessary to take some stand. In the mat- 
ter of the supernormal there are too many interior 
and personal factors (intellectual idiosyncrasies, 
aesthetic temperaments, moral and religious senti- 
ments, metaphysical tendencies, etc.) tending to 
determine the quality and intensity of the character- 
istic of the strangeness in the facts in litigation, 
to enable one to flatter himself upon a disinterested, 
objective, and ^wast-scientific verdict upon their de- 
gree of probability or improbability. It is only when, 
after the accumulation of cases and evidences of 
similar character, a tacit agreement shall finally have 
been reached by those who have studied the subject, 
that the problem can be said to be solved, either by 
the relegation of pretended supernormal phenomena 
to the domain of vanished illusions and abandoned 
superstitions, or by the recognition of new laws and 
forces in nature. The phenomena considered till 
then as supernatural will cease to be so ; they will 
form a part of established science, they will have 
nothing more in them that is strange, and will be 
admitted by everybody. As long as this mile-post 
is not reached, as long as the supernormal phenom- 
enon is discussed as such, there are but individual 
opinions on this subject, subjective certitudes or 
probabilities, verdicts in which reality is only re- 
flected as closely welded to the personality of their 

Two suggestions seem to me to spring from this. 


First, authors who take it upon themselves to give 
their advice upon the extraordinary facts coming 
to their knowledge ought always to begin by mak- 
ing their confession, so that the reader may the 
better distinguish the intimate factors which may 
have influenced them. It is true that we are not 
always thoroughly acquainted with ourselves, but it 
would be something to say frankly what we believe 
we have discovered in ourselves as to the position 
invoUmtarily taken by us, obscure inclinations for 
or against the hypothesis involved in the phenome- 
na in question. This is what I shall try to do here, 
by confining myself to the problems raised by the 
mediumship of Mile. Smith, and without entering 
upon the boundless domain of ''psychical research." 
I shall, therefore, begin each of the following para- 
graphs by giving my personal advice and my sub- 
jective sentiment on the point upon which Helena's 
supernormal appearances touch. 

It seems to me, in the second place, that the only 
rational position to take, concerning the supernor- 
mal, is, if not a complete suspension of judgment, 
which is not always psychologically possible, at 
least that of a wise probability, exempt from all dog- 
matic obstinacy. The fixed beliefs, the unshaka- 
ble opinions as to the reality and the meaning of 
life, are certainly subjective conditions, indispen- 
sable to all properly moral conduct, to all human 
existence truly worthy of this name — that is to say, 
all that which pretends to be above the animal rou- 
tine of inherited instincts and social slavery. But 
these firm convictions would be absolutely misplaced 



on the objective ground of science, and consequently 
also that of supernormal facts, which, though still 
situated outside of the scientific realm, hope shortly 
to be received within its pale. Practical necessities 
ftiake us but too often forget that our knowledge of 
the phenomenal world never attains absolute certi- 
tude, and as soon as one passes beyond the brutal 
facts of the senses, the best-established truths, as 
well as the most thoroughly refuted propositions, 
do not rise above a probability which, however great 
or insignificant we may suppose it to be, never equals 
infinity or zero. The intellectual attitude which 
common -sense prescribes in the supernormal con- 
sists, for very strong reasons, in never absolutely 
and irrevocably denying or affirming, but provision- 
ally and by hypothesis, as it were. Even in cases 
when, after having examined everything scrupulous- 
ly, one imagines he has finally reached certitude, 
it must not be forgotten that this word is but a mode 
of expressing one's self ; because, in point of fact, 
one does not rise above a probable opinion, and the 
possibility of an unsuspected error, vitiating the most 
apparently evident experimental demonstration, is 
never mathematically excluded. 

This reserve is particularly indicated in cases of 
phenomena like those of Mile. Smith, which often 
leave much to be desired concerning accessory in- 
formation, which would be necessary in order to ex- 
press one's self categorically on their account. My 
appreciation of these phenomena, far from pretend- 
ing to an infallible and definite character, demands, 
therefore, from the start, the right of modification 



under the influence of new facts which may be pro- 
duced subsequently. 

For the sake of clearness I shall set off again in 
four groups the supernormal appearances with which 
I shall have to occupy myself in this chapter — viz., 
so-called physical phenomena, telepathy, lucidity, 
and spirit messages. The boundaries of these three 
last categories are but poorly defined and might 
easily be fused into one. But my division is but a 
kind of a measure of order, and not a classification. 

II. Physical Phenomena 

This designation again covers several rather di- 
verse categories of strange facts. I shall only speak 
of the two kinds of which Mile. Smith has furnished 
samples (and which I have never personally wit- 
nessed) — that is to say, " apports " and " movements 
of objects without contact." 

I. Apports* — Besides the unknown causes pre- 
siding over their aerial transportation, the arrival of 
exterior objects in a closed space, often coming from 
a considerable distance, implies, in order that they 
may pass through the walls of the room, either the 
subterfuge of a fourth dimension of space, or the 
penetration of the matter — that is to say, the passage 
of the molecules or atoms of the object (its momentary 
dematerialization) between the molecules or atoms 
of the wall. All these impediments to our vulgar 

* By this is meant the bringing or conveying of material ob- 
jects into a closed space — the passage of one solid body through 


conception as to the stability of matter, or, what is 
worse, to our geometrical intuition, seem to me so 
hard to digest that 1 am tempted to apply to them 
the words of Laplace : " There are things that are so 
extraordinary that nothing can counterbalance their 
improbability." This is not to declare as false, d, 
priori, all the stories of this kind, for we know that 
the true is not always the probable ; but assuredly, 
even in the case of the good Mr. Stainton Moses, 
the weight of the proof does not, in my opinion, equal 
the strangeness of the facts. 

So far as concerns the apports obtained at the 
seances of Mile. Smith, they all took place in 1892-93, 
in the reunions of the N. group, where the obscurity 
favored the production of marvellous things in close 
relation with the visions and typtological messages. 
- 1 will cite from memory certain acoustic phenom- 
ena mentioned in the reports : The piano sounded 
several times under the touch of the favorite disin- 
' carnate spirits of the group ; the same happened to 
a violin and to a bell ; once we also heard metallic 
sounds that seemed to come from a small musical 
box, although there was none in the room. As to 
the apports, always received with delight by the 
members of the group, who are ever anxiously wish- 
ing for them and asking their spirit friends for them, 
they were frequent and varied enough. In mid- 
winter roses showered upon the table, handfuls of 
violets, pinks, white lilacs, etc., also green branches; 
among other things there was an ivy leaf having 
engraved upon it in letters, as though by a punch- 
ing-machine, the name of one of the principal dis- 



incarnate spirits at play. Again, at the tropical and 
Chinese visions sea-shells were obtained that were 
still shining and covered with sand, Chinese coins, 
a little vase containing water, in which there Vas 
a superb rose, etc. These last objects were brought 
in a straight line from the extreme East by the spirits, 
in proof of which they had the honor of a public pres- 
entation at a seance of La Societe d'Etudes Psy- 
chiques de Geneve, and were placed upon the desk 
of the president, where all, myself included, could 
satisfy themselves at their leisure as to their reality. 

2. Movements of objects without contact. — The dis- 
placing, without contact and in the absence of all 
known mechanical processes, of objects situated 
at a distance (telekinesis), is very strange. How- 
ever, it only upsets physiological notions, and does 
not, as is the case with the apports, go as far as 
to overthrow ovir conceptions in regard to the con- 
stitution of matter or our spatial intuitions. It only 
supposes that the living being possesses forces act- 
ing at a distance, or the power of putting forth at in- 
tervals a species of invisible supernumerary prehen- 
sile organs, capable of handling objects, as our hands 
do (ectenic forces of Thury, ectoplasms of Richet, 
dynamic members of Ochorowicz, etc.). Such are 
the ephemeral but visible pseudopodes that the amoe- 
ba puts forth in all directions. 

It may be conceived that, as the atom and the mol- 
ecule are the centre of a more or less radiating influ- 
ence of extension, so the organized individual, iso- 
lated cell or colony of cells, is originally in possession 
of a sphere of action, where it concentrates at time§ 



its efforts more especially on one point, and again on 
others ad libitum. Through repetition, habit, selec- 
tion, hereditary and other principles loved by biolo- 
gists, certain more constant lines of force would be 
differentiated in this homogeneous primordial sphere, 
and little by little could give birth to motor organs. 
For example— our four members of flesh and blood, 
sweeping the space around us, would be but a more 
economic expedient invented by nature, a machine 
wrought in the course of better adapted evolution, to 
obtain at the least expense the same useful effects as 
this vague primitive spherical power. Thus sup- 
planted or transformed, these powers would there- 
after manifest themselves only very exceptionally, 
in certain states, or with abnormal individuals, as 
an atavic reapparition of a mode of acting long ago 
fallen into disuse, because it is really very imperfect 
and necessitates, without any advantage, an expen- 
diture of vital energy far greater than the ordinary 
use of arms and limbs. Unless it is the cosmic pow- 
er itself, the amoral and stupid demiurge, the un- 
consciousness of M. de Hartman, which comes di- 
rectly into play upon contact with a deranged nervous 
system, and realizes its disordered dreams without 
passing through the regular channels of muscular 

But enough of these vapory metaphysicalor pseudo- 
biological speculations to give an account of a phe- 
nomenon for which it will be time enough to find 
precise explanation when its authenticity shall be 
beyond dispute, if that time shall ever arrive. 

Three groups of proofs, of a diverse nature, have 


gradually brought me to look upon the reality of these 
phenomena — in spite of the instinctive difficulty of 
admitting them — as an infinitely more probable 
hypothesis than its opposite. 

First : I was first unsettled by the reading of the 
too-much-neglected memoir of Professor Thury,which 
seems to me to be a model of scientific observations, 
the weight of which I could only overlook by rejecting, 
a priori — in the name of their strangeness — the pos- 
sibility itself of the facts in question, which would 
have been against the Principle of Hamlet. The 
conversations which it was my privilege to hold with 
M. Thury have greatly contributed to arouse in me 
a presumption in favor of these phenomena, which 
the book would evidently not have done in the same 
degree if the author had not been personally known 
to me. 

Secondly : Once created, my idea of the probability 
of these facts became rather strengthened than weak- 
ened by a number of foreign works of more recent 
date ; but I doubt whether any, or all of these com- 
bined, would have been sufficient to create it. The 
displacement of objects without contact being once 
hypothetically admitted, it seems easier to me to ex- 
plain Crookes's observations on the modifications of 
the weight of bodies in the presence of Home by 
authentic phenomena of this kind (in spite of the 
well-deserved criticisms that Crookes's publications 
brought upon him) than to suppose that he was 
simply Home's dupe. The same is true with the 
cases of E sprits tapageurs (Poltergeister), published 
by the Society for Psychical Research, the ex- 



elusive hypothesis of the " naughty little girl," 
without the addition of any trace of telekinesis, 
which seems to me a less adequate and more im- 
probable explanation than that of real phenomena, 
which would have tempted fraud. Naturally all 
depends on the preconceived opinion one may have 
as to the general possibility or impossibility of these 
facts, and my feeling in regard to the matter would 
certainly be different without the preceding or the 
following groups of evidence. 

Thirdly : The probability of the movement of objects 
without contact has reached with me a degree practi- 
cally equivalent to certitude, thanks to M. Richet, to 
whom 1 am indebted for my presence at his house last 
year at several seances of Eusapia Paladino, under 
conditions of control which gave no room for doubt 
— at least without challenging the combined witness 
of the senses of sight, hearing, and touch, as well as 
the average quantity of critical sense and perspicacity 
with which every ordinary intelligence flatters itself 
it is endowed ; or, again, of suspecting the walls of M. 
Richet's study had been tampered with, and he him- 
self, with his attending colleagues, of being impostors, 
in collusion with the amiable Neapolitan herself — a 
supposition which the most elementary sense of pro- 
priety would absolutely forbid me to entertain. From 
that moment I believed in telekinesis by constraint of 
the perception, sensata et oculata certitudine, to borrow 
the expression of Galileo, who certainly did not mean 
by that an unreflecting adhesion to the evidences of 
the senses, like that of the casual onlooker at the tricks 
of the prestidigitator, but rather the final crowning of 



an edifice having for its rational framework the rea- 
soned analysis of the conditions of observation, and 
of the concrete circumstances surrounding the pro- 
duction of the phenomenon. 

In saying that I believe in these facts, I will add that 
there is no question here of a conviction, in the moral, 
religious, or philosophical sense of the term. This be- 
lief is for me devoid of all vital importance ; it does 
not move any essential fibre of my being, and I would 
not feel the least inclination to submit to the slightest 
martyrdom in its defence. Whether the objects move 
or do not move without contact is absolutely indiffer- 
ent to me. Should any one some day succeed in un- 
veiling the physical tricks or the fallacious psycho- 
logical processes which have led into error the best 
observers of telekinesis, from M. Thury down to M. 
Richet, with a number of other witnesses, myself in- 
cluded, I would be the first to laugh at the trick that 
art and nature had played upon me, to applaud the 
perspicacity of the one who discovered it, to congratu- 
late myself, above all, in seeing supernormal appear- 
ances returning to the ordinary course of things. 

This is a disproportionally lengthy preamble to 
facts of which I shall have to speak here, for they are 
reduced to a few displacements of objects without 
contact (raising of tables, transporting or project- 
ing of flowers and diverse things placed out of reach), 
of which H61ene and her mother were witnesses on 
several occasions at their house. I cannot be accused 
of stubborn skepticism, since I admit the reality of 
telekinesis. In the present case, however, all the 
stories which have been told me leave much to be de- 



sired from an evidential point of view. Without sus- 
pecting in any way the perfect good faith of both 
Mme. and Mile. Smith, it suffices to recall the possi- 
bility of malobservation and errors of memory in the 
stories of supernormal events in order not to attribute 
a great evidential value to the absolutely sincere evi- 
dence of these ladies. 

Incapacitated as I am from pronouncing judgment 
upon phenomena of which I was not a witness, I shall, 
however, put forth a fact which might militate in 
favor of their authenticity (their possibility having 
been first hypothetically admitted) — namely, that 
these phenomena have always been produced under 
exceptional conditions, at a time when H61Sne was 
in an abnormal state and a prey to a deep emotion. 
On the one side, this circumstance increases the 
chances of malobservation, while, on the other, the 
day on which it shall be well established that (as di- 
vers observations cause us to think) certain abnor- 
mal and emotional states set at liberty in the organ- 
ism latent forces capable of acting at a distance, it 
will be permitted us to suppose that perhaps some- 
thing analogous has taken place in Mile. Smith's 
case. Here is, as an example of these perplexing 
cases, a fact which happened to her during a period 
of general indisposition. Abridging the story, I 
reproduce it as H&lhne sent it to me the following 

" Last night I had a visit from M. H. I do not 
need to give you an analysis of my impressions ; 
you will understand them as well as I do. He came 
to tell me that he had held a seance with a lady who 



was a stranger to me, and that this lady had seen 
Leopold, who had given her a remedy for the indis- 
position from which I was suffering. I could not re- 
frain from telling him that Leopold had assured me 
that he manifested himself only to me, and that it 
would consequently be difficult for me to admit his 
alleged utterances to others." But that is not the 
most interesting part of the story. 

" While M. H. spoke to me 1 felt a sharp pain in 
my left temple, and, perhaps two minutes afterwards, 
my eyes, constantly directed towards the piano, on 
which I had placed two oranges the evening before, 
were entirely fascinated with I know not what. Then, 
suddenly, at the moment when we least expected it — 
we were all three (M. H., my father, and myself) seat- 
ed at a reasonable chstance from the piano — one of 
the oranges displaced itself and rolled to my feet. 
My father maintained that it had no doubt been 
placed too near the edge of the lid, and at a certain 
moment had fallen in a natural way. M. H. saw 
immediately in this incident the intervention of 
some spirit. I myself dared not pass my opinion 
on it. Finally, I picked up the orange, and we 
spoke of other things. 

" M. H. remained about an hour ; he went away 
exactly at nine. I went to my mother's room to 
give her a few details of M. H.'s visit. I described 
to her the fall of the orange, and what was my sur- 
prise when, on returning to the drawing-room and 
stepping up to the piano to take the lamp I had 
placed on it, 1 found the famous orange no longer 
there. There was but one left ; the one I had picked 



up and replaced by the side of the other had disap- 
peared. I looked for it everywhere, but without suc- 
cess. I went back to my mother, and while 1 spoke 
to her we heard something fall in the vestibule. I 
took the lamp to see what might have fallen. I 
distinguished at the farthest end (towards the door 
of the entrance to the apartment) the much-sought- 
f or orange I 

" Then I asked myself quite frankly whether I was 
in presence of some spiritistic manifestation. 1 tried 
not to be frightened. 1 took the orange to show it to 
my mother. 1 returned to the piano to take the sec- 
ond orange, so as not to be frightened in a similar 
way. But it, in its turn, had disappeared 1 Then 
I felt a considerable sensation of trembling. 1 re- 
turned to my mother's room, and, while we discussed 
the matter, we heard again something thrown with 
violence, and, rushing out to see what had happened, 
I saw the second orange placed in exactly the same 
spot where the other had been, and considerably 
bruised. Imagine how astonished we were ! I 
took both oranges, and, without losing an instant, 
went to the kitchen and put them in a cupboard, where 
I found them again the following morning; they 
had not moved. I did not go to bed without some 
fear, but fortunately I quickly went to sleep. My 
mother is sure that it is M. H. who brought some 
evil spirit into the house, and she is quite un- 
easy. ..." 

From the oral explanations of Mile. Smith and her 
mother, and also from the location of the places, it 
follows that the oranges had been thrown at a dis- 



tance of ten yards from the piano, through the wide- 
open parlor door leading to the vestibule, against the 
door of the apartment, as if to follow and strike fic- 
titiously M. H., who a few moments before had left 
by this door. 

One has undoubtedly always the right of discard- 
ing at the outset, as presenting too little guarantee of 
genuineness, the extraordinary stories of a person 
subject to hallucinations. In the present case, all 
that I know of Mile. Smith and her parents keeps me 
from doing so, and persuades me that her story is 
thoroughly exact, which, however, does not amount 
to saying that there is anything of the supernormal 
about it. One has, in fact, the choice between two 

First : In the hypothesis of veritable telekinesis, 
the following is the manner in which the adventure 
would be summed up : the emotion due to the unex- 
pected and unpleasant visit of M. H. had brought 
about a division of consciousness. The feeling of 
irritation, anger, and repulsion against him had con- 
densed themselves into some secondary personality, 
which, in the general perturbation of the entire psy- 
chophysiological organism, had momentarily recov- 
ered the use of these primitive forces of action at a 
distance, entirely removed from the will, and without 
the participation of the ordinary self, and thus auto- 
matically accomplished outwardly the instinctive 
idea of bombarding this ill - bred visitor. Notice 
is to be taken of the painful aura at the temple 
and the fascination of gaze, which, according to 
Helene's story, preceded the first signs of the phe- 
2B 385 


nomenon, the orange falling and rolling at her 

Secondly : But the most natural supposition is 
certainly that Mile. Smith, by the ordinary use of 
her limbs, had taken and thrown these projectiles in 
an access of unconscious muscular automatism. It 
is true that this would not agree with the presence of 
her father, mother, or M. H., who did not see her make 
the supposed movements. But an absent-mindedness 
of even normal witnesses will seem easier to admit 
than the authentic production of a supernormal phe- 

These episodes which have happened to Mile. 
Smith and her mother since 1 have known them are 
very few, amounting to half a dozen at the most, 
and I will not dwell longer upon this subject. H(5- 
Ifene is not conscious of possessing any faculty of 
movement at a distance, and she always attributes 
these phenomena to spirit intervention. Leopold, on 
the other hand, has never acknowledged that he is 
the author of them. He claims that H^l^ne possesses 
within herself supernormal powers, and that, in order 
to succeed, she would only have to set them to work, 
but that she did not wish to do so. All my sugges- 
tions and repeated entreaties with Leopold and H6- 
l&ne— either awake or in a state of somnambulism— 
in the hope of obtaining in my presence some physi- 
cal phenomenon, have been in vain up to the present 


III. Telepathy 

One may almost say that if telepathy did not exist 
one would have to invent it. I mean by this that a 
direct action between living beings, independent of 
the organs of the senses, is a matter of such con- 
formity to all that we know of nature that it would 
be hard not to suppose it a priori, even if we had no 
perceptible indication of it. How is it possible to 
believe that the foci of chemical phenomena, as com- 
plex as the nervous centres, can be in activity with- 
out giving forth diverse undulations, x, y, or z rays, 
traversing the cranium as the sun traverses a pane 
of glass, and acting at a distance on their homo- 
logues in other craniums ? It is a simple matter of 

The gallop of a horse or the leap of a flea in Austra- 
lia causes the terrestrial globe to rebound on its oppo- 
site side to an extent proportional to the weight of 
these animals compared to that of our planet. This 
is little, even without taking into account the fact that 
this infinitesimal displacement runs the risk at every 
moment of being neutralized by the leaps of horses 
and fleas on the other hemisphere,^ so that, on the 
whole, the shocks to our terrestrial globe resulting 
from all that moves on its surface are too feeble to 
prevent our sleeping. Perhaps it is the same with 
the innumerable waves which coming from all other 
living beings, shock at every moment a given brain : 
their efforts are counterbalanced, or their resultant 
too slight to be perceived. But they exist none the 



less in reality, and 1 confess 1 do not understand 
those who reproach telepathy with being strange, 
mystical, occult, supernormal, etc. 

As to the knowledge whether this theoretical tele- 
pathy offers results open to experimental demonstra- 
tion—that is to say, whether this chain of intercerebral 
vibrations into which we are plunged exercises any 
notable influence on the course of our psychic life ; 
and whether, in certain cases, we happen to feel emo- 
tions, impulses, hallucinations, which the psycholog- 
ical state of one or another of our own kind exercises 
directly upon us, across the ether and without the 
ordinary intermediary of the channel of our senses — 
that is a question of fact arising from observation and 
experience. We know how much this question has 
actually been discussed, and how difficult it is to solve 
it in a decisive way, as much on account of all the 
sources of errors and illusions, to which one is ex- 
posed in this domain, as on account of a probably 
always necessary concurrence of very exceptional 
circumstances (which we do not as yet know how to 
accomplish at will), in order that the particular action 
of a determined agent should sweep away all rival 
influences, and betray itself in a manner sufficient- 
ly marked and distinct in the life of the percipient. 
Everything considered, I strongly lean towards the 
affirmative. The reality of telepathic phenomena 
seems to me difficult to reject in presence of the cluster 
of very diverse evidences, entirely independent of 
each other, that militate in its favor. Undoubtedly 
none of these evidebces is absolutely convincing 
when taken separately; but their striking conver- 



gence towards the same result gives to their entirety 
a new and considerable weight, which tips the scale, 
in my opinion, while awaiting an inverse oscillation, 
which may some day destroy this convergence, or 
explain it by a common source of error. Besides, 
1 understand very well why those to whom telepathy 
remains a mystic, and to our scientific conceptions 
heterogeneous, principle, should obstinately resist it. 
But, seeing nothing strange in it myself, I do not hes- 
itate to admit it, not as an intangible dogma, but as 
a provisional hypothesis, corresponding better than 
any other to the condition of my certainly very in- 
complete knowledge of this department of psycho- 
logical research. 

Although predisposed in favor of telepathy, I have 
failed in finding striking proofs of it in Mile. Smith, 
and the few experiments 1 have attempted with her 
on this subject offered nothing encouraging. 

I tried several times to make an impression upon 
H61^ne from a distance and to appear before her dur- 
ing the evening, when I thought she had returned to 
her home, which is a kilometre distant from mine. 
I obtained no satisfactory result. My only case 
of striking success, lost among a number of non- 
successes, can be explained by mere coincidence as 
well, and, after taking all the accessory circum- 
stances into consideration, does not deserve a lengthy 

As to spontaneous telepathy, a few indications 
would make me think that Mile. Smith sometimes 
involuntarily submits to my influence. The most 
curious is a dream (or a vision) that she had one 



night at a time when I had suddenly fallen ill 
during a stay in the country some twenty leagues 
distant from Geneva. She heard the ringing of a 
bell at her door, then saw me entering, so emaciated 
and apparently so tired that she could not refrain 
from speaking to her mother on the following morn- 
ing of her uneasiness concerning me. Unfortu- 
nately these ladies took no note of the exact date of 
this incident, and H616ne did not speak of it to M. 
Lemattre imtil three weeks later, when he told her 
about my illness, the beginning of which dated back 
to the approximate time of the dream. The evi- 
dential value of this case is weak. On other occa- 
sions Mile. Smith announced to me that, to judge 
from her dreams or vague intuition in a waking 
state, 1 was to have on a certain day an unexpected 
vexation, a painful preoccupation, etc. But the 
cases in which she was right were counterbalanced 
by those in which she was wrong. It does not appear 
that H61^ne's telepathic relations with other persons 
are closer than with me, and among the cases known 
to me there is not one that deserves the trouble of 
being related. An exception must, however, be 
made on behalf of a M. Balmfes (pseudonym), who 
was for some time employed in the same business 
house as Mile. Smith, and concerning whom she 
had several really curious phenomena. This M. 
Balm^s was himself " a sensitive medium " of a very 
nervous and vibrating nature. He was working 
in the story above that of H61^ne, and stopped 
sometimes to talk concerning spiritism with her. 
Their relations, which they did not extend beyond 



the office, ended there. There never seemed to be 
any personal sympathy or special af&nity between 
them, and it is not known how to account for the 
telepathic bond that seemed to exist between them. 
The following are examples : 

I. One morning M. Balm^s lent a newspaper to 
H^l^ne in which there was an article on spiritism. 
He himself had received this paper from one of 
his friends, M. X., a Frenchman who had been in 
Geneva for some three weeks only and who did not 
know Helene even by name. This M. X. had 
marked the interesting article in red and had added 
on the margin an annotation in black. During her 
noon meal at home H61^ne read the article rapidly, 
but for lack of time did not read the annotation mark- 
ed in black. Having returned to her office she began 
again to work. However, at a quarter-past three her 
eyes fell on the annotation of the paper, and as she 
was taking up her pen to make some calculation in her 
note-book, " I do not know," she wrote to me, " either 
how or why I began to draw on this writing-tablet 
the head of a man entirely unknown to me. At the 
same time I heard the voice of a man, of a high, clear, 
and harmonious quality, but unfortunately I could 
not understand the words. A great desire came 
over me to run and show this drawing to M. Balmes. 
He examined it, and seemed astonished, for the head 
drawn in ink was no other than that of his friend 
who had lent him the paper marked in pencil. The 
voice and the French accent were, as it seems, en- 
tirely correct also. How was it that at the sight 



of an annotation I found myself in communication 
with a stranger ? M. Balm^s, in presence of this 
curious phenomenon, hastened that very evening 
to his friend and learned that at the time when 1 drew 
his portrait there was a very serious discussion in 
progress concerning him (M. Balmfes) between M. X. 
and other persons." 

Strictly speaking, this case may be normally 
explained by supposing: First, that Mile. Smith, 
without consciously noticing or remembering him, 
had seen M. X. during his short stay in Geneva, 
walking in the street with M. Balm^s, and that the 
paper, which she knew had been lent to M. Balm^s by 
one of his friends, had, by means of a subconscious 
induction, awakened the latent memory of the face 
and voice of the stranger whom she had seen with 
him. Secondly, that there is but a fortuitous coinci- 
dence in the fact that M. X. spoke of M. Balm^s at pre- 
cisely the hour when H^l^ne traced the face and heard 
the voice of the aforesaid M. X. in an access of au- 
tomatism, set free at the sight of his annotation on 
the paper. 

In the telepathic hypothesis, on the contrary, the 
incident would have been explained somewhat as fol- 
lows : The conversation of M. X. concerning M. 
Balm^s (which was, as it appears, of an excited nat- 
ure) had telepathically impressed the latter and awak- 
ened in him subliminally the remembrance of M. X. 
M. Balmfes, in his turn, without consciously suspect- 
ing it, had transmitted this remembrance to Mile. 
Smith, who was already predisposed to suggestion on 
that day by the loan of the paper, and with whom the 



said remembrance broke forth into a graphic, audi- 
tive, and impulsive (the desire of showing her draw- 
ing to M. Balm^s) automatism. The subconscious 
strata of M. Balmes had thus served as a hnk between 
M. X. and Mile. Smith. 

2. "Some eight days after the preceding case, 
being a few minutes after noon in an open street- 
car, 1 saw before me this same M. Balmes talking to 
a lady in a room apparently close to the street-car. 
The picture was not very clear. A kind of mist 
seemed to extend over the whole, which was, however, 
not strong enough to hide from me the personages. 
M. Baimes, especially, was quite recognizable, and 
his somewhat subdued voice made me overhear these 
words: 'It is very curious, extraordinary.' Then 
I felt a sudden, violent commotion, and the picture 
vanished at the same time. Soon I found myself 
again riding in the street-car, and, according to the 
progress which it had made, I understood that the 
vision had lasted but three minutes at the most. 
Notice must be taken of the fact that during these 
few minutes I did not lose for a single moment the 
consciousness of my situation ; I knew and felt that 
1 was riding home, as I was in the habit of doing each 
day, and 1 felt entirely like myself, without the 
slightest mental disturbance. 

" Two hours later I went up to M. Balmes. Ap- 
proaching him frankly — yes, even a little abruptly — 
1 said to him : ' Were you satisfied with the short 
visit you made a few minutes after twelve, and would 
it be indiscreet to ask what you found so curious, so 
extraordinary?' He seemed confused, astonished, 



pretended even to be vexed, and looked as if he wished 
to ask me by what right I permitted myself to con- 
trol his actions. This movement of indignation 
passed as quickly as it came, to give way to a senti- 
ment of the greatect curiosity. He made me tell him 
in detail my vision, and confessed to me that he really 
had gone at noon to call upon a lady, and that they 
had discussed the incident about the newspaper. He 
had really pronounced the words that I had heard : 
'It is curious, extraordinary,' and, strange to say, 
I also learned that at the end of these words a violent 
ringing of the bell had been heard, and that the con- 
versation between M. Balm^s and his friend had sud- 
denly come to an end by the arrival of a visitor. The 
commotion felt by me was, therefore, nothing more 
than the violent ringing of the bell, which, putting 
an end to the conversation, had also put an end to 
my vision." 

3. At the beginning of a seance one Sunday af- 
ternoon at a quarter to four, I handed to H61fene a 
glass ball, of the kind used for developing clairvoy- 
ance by means of gazing into a crystal. Shortly 
afterwards she saw in it M. Balm^s and his friend, 
and above their heads an isolated pistol, but which 
seemed to have nothing to do with them. She told 
me then that M. Balm&s had received the day before 
at his office a telegram which very much upset him, 
and which obliged him to leave Geneva that very 
evening for S. She seemed to apprehend some mis- 
fortune about to befall M. Balm^s, but soon fell asleep. 
By his digital dictations Leopold tells us that he sent 
her to sleep to save her some painful visions seen 



in the crystal, and that she, Hel^ne, has a medi- 
umistic consciousness in regard to all that is passing 
at S., and that the pistol is connected with M. Balm^s. 
It was impossible to learn more, and the remainder 
of the seance was taken up with other matters. 

M. Balm^s, who returned to Geneva on the follow- 
ing Monday, and whom I saw the same evening, was 
very much struck with Helene's vision, for, on Sun- 
day afternoon he really took part in a scene which 
came near being tragic, and in the course of which 
his friend X. had offered him a pistol which he al- 
ways carried with him. Mile. Smith and M. Balm^s 
did not hesitate to see in this coincidence a highly 
characterized supernormal phenomenon. This case 
offers, however, some difficulty — viz., that the in- 
cident of the pistol at S. did not take place till more 
than two hours after Helene's visions, and that M. 
Balmfes, as he affirms, had no premonition of the affair 
at the time when Hel&ne had her vision. It follows 
from this that there was a kind of anticipated tele- 
pathy, a premonition experienced by another than 
the interested principal, and this raises the great 
question of the supernormal knowledge of future 
events. I find it easier to admit that, although M. 
Balmes did not consciously foresee the incident of 
the pistol, he foresaw subconsciously the event, and 
that this idea passed telepathically to H61^ne. Per- 
haps this case might be explained without having 
recourse to the supernormal at aU. Mile. Smith, 
knowing M. Balmes' character, and up to a certain 
point his personal circumstances, having been pres- 
ent the evening before when M. Balmes received the 



telegram, and foreseeing (as she said at the seance), 
the gravity of the situation, could easily imagine the 
intervention of a fire-arm in the affair. Besides, 
no detail of the vision indicates that the pistol seen in 
the glass ball corresponds to that of M. X. 

How far the delicate sense of probabilities can go, 
and how often spontaneous inferences, with people 
of a quick imagination, are correct, one never knows. 
Undoubtedly we often see a supernormal connection 
where there is, in reality, only a striking coincidence, 
due to a happy divination and prevision, which is 
very natural. I ought to add that this manner of 
evicting the supernormal and reducing the vision of 
the pistol to a mere creation of the subliminal fantasy, 
seems inadmissible to H61fene, who remains abso- 
lutely certain that this was a convincing case of 

The above example, 2, which is the best of all, in 
my opinion, is still not irreproachable. 

IV. Lucidity 

All the facts of lucidity (clairvoyance, second-sight, 
etc.) which are attributed to Mile. Smith may be ex- 
plained by telepathic impressions proceeding from 
living persons. This means that I not only admit 
from the start the possibility of such phenomena by 
virtue of the " Principle of Hamlet," but, since tele- 
pathy is not, in my opinion, anything very strange, 
I shall feel no subjective difficulty in accepting the 
reality of H61^ne's supernormal intuitions, provided 
that they present some serious guarantee of authen- 



ticity, and do not explain themselves still more sim- 
ply by normal and ordinary processes. 

Leopold, who appears in almost all of these veridi- 
cal messages — whether he recognizes himself as the 
author or whether he accompanies simply by his 
presence their manifestation through Helene — has 
never deigned to grant me one under entirely sat- 
isfactory conditions, and he censures my insistence 
as vain and puerile curiosity. As to the innumer- 
able phenomena with which others more fortunate 
than myself have been gratified, they have always 
offered this singularity : when they appeared to be 
really of a nature calculated to furnish a decisive and 
convincing proof as to their supernormal origin, I 
never succeeded in obtaining a written, precise, and 
circumstantial account, but only uncertain and in- 
complete tales, too intimate and too personal to be 
divulged by those interested in them; and, again, 
when my friends were quite willing to write out a de- 
tailed account and to answer to my demand for ex- 
act information, the fact reduced itself to such a small 
matter that it was beyond my power to see anything 
of the supernormal in it. 

Taking everything into consideration, I am in- 
clined to believe that Mile. Smith, in truth, possesses 
real phenomena of clairvoyance, not, however, pass- 
ing beyond the possible limits of telepathy ; only, 
in order that they may be produced, it is necessary 
that Leopold — that is to say, the special psychic state 
of Helene which is necessary for the reception and 
externalization of these telepathic impressions — be 
aided from the outside by the influence of certain 



favorable temperaments, more frequently met with 
among convinced spiritists than among persons 
who are normal, and that he be not impeded, on the 
other hand, by the paralyzing presence of hostile 
temperaments, such as that of a critical observer. 
It is greatly to be regretted that the naive believers 
who inspire and succeed in obtaining magnificent 
phenomena of lucidity usually care so little for the 
desiderata of science, and, above all, refuse to sub- 
mit themselves to an examination which might ex- 
plain the phenomena in a natural manner; while the 
investigators in search of " convincing " proofs are 
not inspiring and obtain almost nothing. 

However it may be, I shall give a few examples of 
Mile. Smith's proofs of lucidity, which are not very 
varied, and can be divided into the three categories 
of the medical prescriptions and diagnoses, of lost 
objects found again, and of retrocognitions of events 
more or less remote. 

I. Medical Consultations. — In promising speci- 
mens of extraordinary facts of this kind I have gone 
too far. Many such have been told me — as, for in- 
stance, Leopold dictating an unknown and compli- 
cated recipe of a hair tonic for a gentleman living 
abroad, a single bottle of which was sufficient to bring 
forth a full growth of hair on a head which had be- 
come bald before middle age ; or, again, Leopold, 
being consulted about the health of a lady living 
at a great distance from Geneva, revealing both the 
veridical nature of her illness, which was unknown 
till then to her physicians, and its origin, which was 
due to certain unsuspected but perfectly true inci- 



dents connected with her childhood, and, finally, 
the treatment, which was crowned with success. 
But the absence of written testimony and precise 
information as to the concomitant circumstances 
of these marvellous cures reduce them to the rank 
of amusing stories, the value of which cannot posi- 
tively be estimated. As to better-attested episodes, 
it is true I have been able to obtain authentic stories, 
but they are those in which the probability of a su- 
pernormal element has been reduced to a minimum — 
imperceptible to me. I will cite but one case. 

M. and Mme. G. having invited Mile. Smith dur- 
ing the month of August to pass a day with them 
in the country, a few leagues distant from Geneva, 
took advantage of the visit to hold a seance in or- 
der to consult Leopold on the health of one of their 
children. I will tell the incident from a written ac- 
count sent me by Mme. G. soon afterwards : 

" Our little girl was suffering from anaemia, and 
fell frequently into a state of weakness, in spite of 
intervals of improvement. Dr. d'Espine had been 
recommended to us for the time of our return to Ge- 
neva. The medium [Mile. Smith] knew nothing of 
this ; we had taken the precaution to keep it from 
her." The seance begins with a few kind words 
from Leopold, whom M. G. then asks whether he 
would do well in consulting Dr. d'Espine. " And I," 
rephed Leopold, "can I do nothing for you? Un- 
grateful people I" But when he was asked to indi- 
cate some treatment, he replied :, " Wait till your re- 
turn to Geneva." Then, upon being asked whether 
an egg mixed with brandy would be good for the 



child, he replied that the egg would be good, but the 
brandy was not necessary in her case. Then he 
recommended that the child be taken for an hour's 
walk in the open air every day. As to the prescrip- 
tion relating to her food, he repeated : " I told you to 
wait till your return to Geneva." 

On their return to Geneva in the middle of Sep- 
tember, M. and Mme. G. held a second seance. This 
time Leopold was more exact ; he advised : " Not too 
much milk, but rather a few glasses of good pure wine 
at each meal." Then he added : " Treat the anaemia 
first and you will triumph over the throat trouble, 
which would finally weaken her too much. Her blood 
is so weak that the least cold, the slightest emotion, I 
will go so far as to say that the expectation of a pleas- 
ure even, would be sufficient to bring the angina to a 
crisis. You ought to have foreseen that." " Leopold," 
M. G. notes here, " has enabled us to put our finger 
upon such of the details as we did not know how to 
explain. At each sentence my wife and 1 looked at 
each other with stupefaction." Leopold ordered also 
many green vegetables, warm salt-water douches of 
three minutes' duration in the evening, and : " The 
principal thing now is five drops of iron in half a 
glass of water twice a day before the meal. Do this 
and you will see the result in a m,onth. " In two weeks' 
time the little girl was hardly recognizable. 

I have cited this case because it is among those that 
have most struck M. and Mme. G., and upon which 
they build their conviction of the independent exist- 
ence and supernormal knowledge of Leopold, and 
because it shows how little is needed to kindle the 



faith among spiritists. I forgot to say that the G. 
family was well known by Mile. Smith, and that dur- 
ing the whole winter and the preceding spring she had 
held weekly seances at their home. There is but one 
thing that astonishes me, and that is, that Leopold, at 
the time of the first improvised consultation, should 
have been taken unawares up to the point of postpon- 
ing his orders until later, and adhering to such com- 
monplace things as a walk in the open air and the 
suppression of brandy. In the second seance one 
sees the effect of a month's incubation. Leopold has 
had time to recover in H61fene's memory the remem- 
brance concerning the little girl who was anaemic and 
subject to sore throat ; also the prescription which, in 
the given case, surely proved most efficacious, but 
which hardly denotes a supernormal knowledge. One 
does not even need here telepathy to explain messages 
which are amply accounted for by the subconscious 
functions of Mile. Smith's ordinary faculties. 

Examples of this kind, drawn from Mile. Smith's 
mediumship, might be almost indefinitely multi- 
plied ; but cut bono ? Once more, I do not claim that 
Leopold has never given any medical consultation 
surpassing Helene's latent knowledge and implying 
supernormal powers of clairvoyance. I only say that 
I have not yet succeeded in finding a single case 
where the proofs reached the height of that con- 

2. Objects Recovered. — I do not know any case in 

which Mile. Smith has indicated the situation of an 

object which had been hidden, and as to the location 

of which she could have had no information through 

2C 401 


natural channels. All her discoveries consist, so far 
as I have been able to judge, in the return, under a 
spiritistic and with a dramatic aspect, of memories 
either simply forgotten or properly subliminal, which 
depended upon the incidents concerned having first 
belonged to the ordinary consciousness, or their hav- 
ing always escaped it and having been from their 
origin registered in the subconsciousness. 

These are facts of cryptomnesia pure and simple — 
i. e., explicable by a normal psychological process 
very common in its essence, while the picturesque 
embellishments added by the mediumistic imagina- 
tion give to these teleological automatisms a certain 
mysterious and supernormal appearance which in 
other surroundings would certainly create for H6- 
l^ne — or rather for Leopold — a place alongside St. 
Anthony of Padua. I confine myself to two exam- 
ples. Mile. Smith being charged with the duty of 
making ready the merchandise sent out from her 
department, was handed a telegram one day from a 
customer who asked that four yards of No. 13,459 
be despatched to him immediately. " This brief 
order," said H61^ne, " was not calculated to hasten 
the forwarding of the goods. How could I readily 
find this No. 13,459, in the midst of six or seven thou- 
sand others in the store ? Pondering, telegram in 
hand, I was wondering how I could find it, when a 
voice outside of but very near me said to me : ' Not 
there, but here,' and involuntarily I turned round, 
without knowing why, and my hand laid itself me- 
chanically on a piece of goods which I drew towards 
me, and which actually bore the No. 13,459." 



It is not necessary to be a medium to know by ex- 
perience these happy reminiscences or inspirations 
which sometimes come to free us from embarrass- 
ment by shining forth hke a hght at an opportune 
moment ; but that which in the case of ordinary 
persons remains in the feeble condition of an idea or 
internal image, among mediumistic temperaments 
assumes readily the fixed and vivid form of an hal- 
lucination. Instead of simply " suddenly recollect- 
ing " in the case of the No. 13,459, as would have 
happened to any one else, Helena hears an exterior 
voice, and perceives her hand moving involuntarily 
in a given direction. It is noted that this automatism 
assumed an auditive and motor form which is the 
pendant of the vocal and visual automatism which I 
have referred to on pp. 58-59. It is to this same class 
of facts, well known and almost common to-day, that 
the following example likewise belongs, although 
the subliminal imagination had surrounded it with 
the form of an intervention on the part of Leopold. 

One Sunday evening, on returning home. Mile. 
Smith noticed that she had lost a small breastpin 
which had been fastened to her corsage, and which 
she greatly valued as a souvenir. The following 
day she returned to look for it where she had been the 
evening before, but in vain, and a notice which she 
caused to be inserted in the " lost " columns of a daily 
newspaper gave no result. Here I leave the narra- 
tion of the story to her : " Persuaded that my pin 
was really lost, I did my best to think no more about 
it, but this was a difficult matter, since one night I 
was awakened suddenly by three raps struck against 



my bed. Somewhat frightened, I looked around, 
but saw nothing. I tried to go to sleep, but again 
many raps were struck, this time near my head. I 
seated myself on my bed (I was agitated), trying to 
discover what was happening, and hardly had I 
seated myself when I saw a hand shaking my lost 
breastpin before my eyes. This vision lasted only 
a minute, but that was long enough for it to make 
a deep impression upon me." 

The following Tuesday evening (ten days after 
the loss of the trinket) H^l^ne held a seance at the 
house of M. Cuendet, at which two other persons were 
also present. She told of the loss of her pin and the 
curious vision above described ; then all seated them- 
selves at the table. After a typtological dictation 
upon an altogether different subject, the following 
incident occurred, the account of which I have bor- 
rowed from notes taken by M. Cuendet (it was in 1894, 
and I only knew Mile. Smith by reputation at the time) : 

" We notice that from the beginning of the seance 
Mile. Smith describes to us our familiar spirit [Leo- 
pold] as holding a lantern in his hand. Why ? The 
table is shaken anew, about to tell us something. 
The following is then dictated to us by it : 'Arise. 
Take a lantern. Extend your walk to the Municipal 
Building. Take the path which crosses the meadow, 
and which ends at the Street of the Baths. In the middle 
of the path, to the left, a few yards distant, a block of 
white stone will be found. Starting from the block of 
stone, only one yard away from it, towards the setting 
sun, the pin so much sought for will be found. Go, I 
accompany you. ' 



" I copy verbatim this communication, which was 
obtained letter by letter. 1 add nothing, take noth- 
ing from it. General stupefaction ! We hesitate ! 
Finally, we all four rise, we light a lantern and set 
out. It was twenty minutes to ten o'clock. 

" We walk slowly ; we arrive at the Municipal 
Building, and take the path which leads from it to 
the Street of the Baths. In the middle, to the left, 
some yards distant, we, in fact, find the block of 
stone indicated. We search for a moment without 
result, and begin to fear we shall find nothing. 
Finally, towards the setting sun, a yard from the 
block of stone, 1 find buried in the grass, covered 
with sand, and consequently badly soiled, the pin 

" Some one had evidently stepped on it, as it was 
slightly bent. Mile. Smith uttered an exclamation 
of surprise, and we all four returned to the house, to 
recover from our very natural emotion." 

This case has remained in the eyes of Mile. Smith 
and her spiritistic friends as one of the most striking 
and irrefragible proofs of the objective and indepen- 
dent reality of Leopold. For the psychologist it con- 
stitutes a very beautiful and interesting example of 
cryptomnesia, well worthy to figure among the very 
instructive cases collected by Mr. Myers, in which 
the memory of a subliminal perception (i. e., regis- 
tered immediately without striking the normal per- 
sonality) appears as a revelation in a dream of or- 
dinary sleep, or under some other equivalent form 
of automatism. Here is " Leopold " — the subcon- 
sciousness of H61tee — who, having felt the pin fall 



and noticed where it rolled, first manifested himself 
in a passing nocturnal vision, and then took advan- 
tage of the next spiritistic gathering to restore com- 
pletely her latent memories. It is not necessary to 
see anything intentional in this restitution, the sim- 
ple play of association of ideas sufficing to explain 
that the memory of the situation of the pin stored up 
in a subliminal stratum and stimulated by a desire 
to recover the lost object might have mechanically 
reappeared at the moment of the seance, thanks to 
mediumistic autohypnotization, and gushed forth 
under the dramatic form, naturally appropriate to 
the environment, of an apparently supernormal piece 
of information furnished by Leopold. 

3. Retrocognitions. — The apparently supernormal 
revelations in regard to the past, furnished at the 
seances of Mile. Smith, can be divided into two groups 
— namely, whether they concern universal history, or 
deal with private interests relative to the families of 
the sitters. 

First : The messages of the first group abound, 
under the form of visions accompanied by typtologi- 
cal explanations, in H61fene's seances of 1894, but 
have almost wholly come to an end since I made her 
acquaintance, and I have never been witness of any. 
According to the reports which I have seen, all these 
retrocognitions have reference to the history of Prot- 
estantism, or that of the French Revolution — i.e., 
to two classes of facts which are among the best 
known in France to-day. 

It goes without saying that the firmly convinced 
spiritistic group in which these messages were re- 



ceived have never had a doubt that the apparitions 
which H^iene perceived were the veritable personages 
they asserted themselves to be, habited as they were 
in the costume of the period to which they belonged, 
communicating by means of the table, and speaking 
in the first person (except when Leopold acted as 
showman and dictated in his own name the explana- 
tions asked for). 

But as the content of these messages is always the 
verbatim reproduction or almost exact equivalent of 
information which is to be found in historical and 
biographical dictionaries, I cannot avoid being in- 
clined to the impression that we here are concerned 
with common facts of cryptomnesia. 

If the intervention of the supernormal be absolutely 
insisted upon in this case, it can only be manifested 
under the form of a telepathic transmission from the 
sitters to the medium. In favor of that supposition 
two facts may be urged : first, that Mile. Smith pass- 
ed in that group as devoid of all historical knowledge, 
and was very much surprised at these revelations of 
facts totally unknown to her ; secondly, that there 
were regularly in attendance at these seances one or 
more members of the teaching body, who by their 
general education possessed, without any doubt what- 
ever, either consciously or in a latent manner, all the 
historical knowledge, which, after all, was not very 
great, displayed by Leopold. 

But these arguments are not of much weight in my 
opinion. To begin with the second : as the sitters had 
their hands on the table at the same time with the me- 
dium, according to the spiritistic custom, they could 



themselves, without any telepathy, properly speak- 
ing, and simply by their slight, unconscious muscular 
contractions, have directed, unknown to themselves, 
the movements of that piece of furniture. Mile. Smith 
only augmenting these shocks proceeding from her 

As to the supposed ignorance of Mile. Smith, it is 
not at all so great as has been imagined, and the his- 
torical revelations obtained at her seances do not 
in any degree surpass the level of that which she 
could have absorbed, consciously or unconsciously, 
at school and in her surroundings. 

Moreover, the hypothesis which appears to me the 
most probable, and on which I rest, is that the mes- 
sages come essentially from H616ne herself — I ought 
rather to say from her subliminal memory ; that, 
however, does not exclude a certain amount of co- 
operation on the part of the sitters, whose conversa- 
tion, on the one hand, and their unconscious muscu- 
lar action upon the table, on the other, have often 
maintained and directed the course of the subcon- 
scious ideas of the medium and the automatic unfold- 
ing of her latent memories. 

Secondly : Retrocognition of family events, which 
are exhibited in Mile. Smith's seances, have generally 
the savor of the unknown for the sitters, from the fact 
that they concern incidents of the past which have 
never been printed save in the memories of certain 
aged persons or of a few lovers of local anecdotes. 

I do not hesitate to see in these stories of other days, 
gushing forth in visions and in dictations by the table 
in the course of H61&ne's hemisomnambulisms, narra- 



tives heard in her childhood and long since forgotten 
by her ordinary personality, but which reappear by 
the aid of mediumistic autohypnotization, bringing 
the deepest strata to the surface ; the simple play of as- 
sociation, in an entirely natural manner, then causes 
the memories relative to the families of the persons 
present at the seance to be poured forth. There is 
nothing whatever of the supernormal in all this, in 
spite of the dramatic form, the piquant and unexpect- 
ed art, the amusing embellishments, of which the 
subliminal imagination bethinks itself — or 1 should 
rather say Leopold, in his role of historiographer 
and scene-shifter of the past. 

The judgment which I have pronounced is the result 
of a course of inductive reasoning based on the retro- 
cognitions of Mile. Smith concerning my own fam- 
ily. I trust it may be allowable for me to enter upon 
some details designed to justify my opinion. 

I note first that all these retrocognitions with which 
Leopold honored me took place in the first six se- 
ances which 1 had with Helfene, after which there 
has not been a single one in the whole five years 
which have since elapsed. This argues in favor of 
a limited group of latent memories, which my intro- 
duction to the seances set free, a sort of subliminal 
sac or pocket which was emptied once for all on the 
first occasions of my presence. 

In the second place, this knowledge only concerns 
outside details, susceptible of striking the attention 
of the gallery and of being carried from mouth to 
mouth. Since family histories have no great interest 
for the ordinary reader, I will confine myself to citing, 



by way of example, the vision which so astonished 
me at my first meeting with K6\hne (p. 2), and which 
has already been published by M. Lemaitre. 1 re- 
produce his narrative, giving real names : 

" The medium [Mile. Smith] perceives a long trail 
of smoke, which envelopes M. Flournoy. ' A wom- 
an !' cries the medium, and, a moment after, ' Two 
women . . quite pretty, brunettes . . . both are 
in bridal toilet I . . . This concerns you, M. Flour- 
noy!' [The table approves by a rap.] They re- 
main motionless ; they have white flowers in their 
hair and resemble each other a little ; their eyes, 
like their hair, are black, or, at all events, very dark. 
The one in the corner appears under two different 
aspects ; under both forms she is young — perhaps 
twenty - five years old ; on the one hand she re- 
mains with the appearance already described (bridal 
toilet), and on the other she appears very luminous 
in a great space, a little more slender of visage, and 
surrounded by a number of pretty children, in the 
midst of whom she appears very happy ; her hap- 
piness manifests itself by her expression, but still 
more in her surroundings. Both women seem ready 
to be married. The medium then hears a name, 
which at first escapes her, then returns little by lit- 
tle. 'An! ... An! ... Dan . . . Ran . . . 
Dandi . . . Dandiran!' 

" ' To which of these two women does this name be- 
long ?' demands M. Flournoy — ' to the one you see 
under two aspects, or to the other ?' Answer : ' To 
the one who is presented under two forms. ' The me- 
dium does not see the other woman as distinctly as 



the first, but all at once distinguishes a tall man by 
her side, who only passes by, when the table dic- 
tates : 'I am his sister; we will return!' after 
which the scene changes and we pass to another 

This vision revolves altogether around the facts 
that my mother and her sister were married on the 
same day ; that they were brunettes, quite pretty, ' 
and looked alike ; that my father was tall ; that 
my aunt married M. Dandiran and died while still 
young, without children ; all iriatters which should 
have been of public notoriety in a small city like 
Geneva. But the same is true of all the other re- 
trocognitions of Mile. Smith ; their content is al- 
ways veridical, but at the same time is also such 
as could not fail to be known to a host of people. 
This causes me to doubt whether there is at the 
base of these phenomena a really supernormal facul- 
ty of retrocognition. 

A third striking feature is, that all H^l^ne's retro- 
cognitions concerning me are relative to the family 
of my mother, and are connected with two quite pre- 
cise and brief periods, the first of which is many years 
previous to Mile. Smith's birth. This limitation as 
to times and persons seems to me significant. 

To clear up the matter, if possible, I addressed my- 
self to the last representative of the present genera- 
tion of my family. Professor Dandiran, of Lausanne, 
and laid the case before him. He did not immediate- 
ly remember whether my grandparents Clapar^de had 
any communication, nearly half a century before, 
with the Smith family, but on the following day he 



wrote me that he distinctly recalled a young woman 
of that name in whom his mother and aunt had been 
greatly interested, and who had been employed by 
them as a dressmaker previous to her marriage to 
a Hungarian. 

One understands that I had a reason for not ad- 
dressing myself first to Mme. Smith herself ; but 1 
must do her the justice to state that when I questioned 
her in turn, she very obligingly gave me all the infor- 
mation 1 desired, and which was in perfect accord with 
the statements of M. Dandiran. 

Without entering into details wearisome to the 
reader, it will be sufficient for me to state that all the 
retrocognitions in which I was involved were con- 
nected with two periods in which Mme. Smith had 
relations with my mother's family, periods separated 
by an interval during which these relations were sus- 
pended by the fact of M. and Mme. Smith making 
a sojourn of several years in a foreign country. It 
would have been possible for H61^ne to know directly 
the facts of the second period, at which time she was 
about five or six years of age. As to the first period, 
which was many years prior to her birth (the time 
of the double marriage of my mother and her sister in 
1853), it is evident that Mme. Smith has had many 
opportunities at a later date to narrate these facts 
to her daughter ; and it would have been altogether 
natural for her to have done so. 

Ab uno disce omnes. Although I am less familiar 
with the retrocognitions of Mile. Smith concerning 
other families, everything contributes to prove to me 
that they are explicable in the same manner. In 



two cases, at least, proof has been obtained that the 
mother of Mile. Smith was found to have been in direct 
and personal communication with the families con- 
cerned, exactly as was the case with my grandparents, 
and this circumstance is sufficient to account for the 
knowledge, very astonishing at first sight, contained 
in the revelations of Leopold. 

To sum up — pure cryptomnesia seems to me to 
furnish a sufficient and adequate explanation for 
Helene's retrocognitions, both as to family events as 
well as historic facts. 

And no more in this domain of knowledge of the 
past than in those of recovered objects and medical 
consultations have I thus far succeeded in discovering 
in her the least serious indication of supernormal 

V. Incarnations and Spirit Messages 

The time having arrived to speak of spiritism, I 
feel ill at ease and embarrassed by my surroundings, 
for divers reasons, some of which I will set forth, 
without, however, endeavoring to explain them at 
length, since my aim is simply, as has been seen 
above (p. 373), to indicate my subjective ideas as to 
the standing of that doctrine, in order that the reader 
may share, if he pleases, in my appreciation of the 
phenomena of this class presented by Mile. Smith. 
I confess, in the first place, that spiritism is a subject 
which has the faculty of arousing my mirth, and 
develops a spirit of playfulness. I really do not 
know why this should be the case, since that which 



concerns the dead and thei great beyond ought not 
to be a matter for joking. Perhaps the cause is to be 
found in the nature of the intermediaries, and the 
character of the messages with which the spirits are 
accustomed to favor us. However it may be, 1 have 
ordinarily much difficulty in preserving a serious 
countenance in the presence of manifestations of 
" disincarnates." 

But 1 reproach myself bitterly with this facetious 
humor when 1 reflect that it is indulged in at the ex- 
pense of conceptions and beliefs which supported the 
first steps of our race on its painful ascent, the sur- 
vival or atavic reapparition of which is yet, even to- 
day, a source of moral strength, of happy certitude, 
of supreme consolation for a host of my contempo- 
raries, many of whom 1 have learned to know, and 
who, moreover, inspire me with respect as well as 
admiration by their uprightness of life, their nobil- 
ity of character, the purity and elevation of their 

In the second place, I have often had the deceptive 
experience that, when it comes to a discussion of it, 
spiritism possesses a great advantage for its defend- 
ers, but which is most inconvenient for those who 
would investigate it closely — of being fugitive and in- 
capable of being grasped on account of the fact of its 
double nature — a science and religion at the same 
time — which never permits it to be wholly and en- 
tirely the one or the other. 

When we come to analyze and criticise, according 
to strict scientific methods, the positive facts upon 
which it pretends to base its fundamental argument 



■ — the reality of communication with the spirits of 
the departed, through the intervention of mediums — 
as soon as the adepts begin to unpack for you their 
stock of theories (1 was about to say their stock theo- 
ries !) they are astonished at the lack of ideal on the 
part of these terrible materialist-scientists, who are 
intent upon searching for the " hidden rat " in the 
demonstrations of spiritism, instead of falling on 
their knees before the splendor of its revelations. 

A third cause of my uneasiness whenever obliged 
to approach this subject is the fear of being misun- 
derstood or misinterpreted, thanks to the naive and 
simple classification which prevails in the environ- 
ments which the " disincarnates " frequent. 

Spiritism or materialism — these are the brutal al- 
ternatives to which one finds himself driven in spite 
of himself. If you do not admit that the spirits of 
the dead reveal themselves by raps on the table or 
visions of the mediums, you are, therefore, a materi- 
alist I If you do not believe that the destiny of the 
human personality is terminated at the grave, you 
are a spiritist ! This mode of nomenclature and 
labelling is surely puerile. Moreover, no one will- 
ingly consents to be thrust into the company of those 
with whom, no matter how honorable they may be, 
he is not in sympathy. 

1 also wish to state that I absolutely repudiate 
the above alternative. There is greater variety of 
choice in the cabinet of human thought. In the 
last century, for example, outside the spiritism of 
Swedenborg and the materialism of Baron d'Hol- 
bach, there was yet the criticism of one named 



Kant, who made some noise in the world and whose 
vogue is even now not absolutely extinct. I should 
not fear to range myself among his followers. And 
in our own times, if it was necessary for me to choose 
between Biichner and Allan Kardec, as the spirit- 
ist seems sometimes to believe, I would not hesitate 
to choose — in favor of M. Renouvier, or my deceased 
compatriot Charles Secr^tan. 

1 hold to no other philosophy, and it suffices me, 
in order to repulse the whole of materialism and spir- 
itism, to be the disciple — unworthy, but convinced 
— of the Nazarene, who replied to the materialists 
of his time, not by spiritistic evocations, but by the 
simple words, " God is not the God of the dead but of 
the living, for all live unto Him." I am not sure 
whether this argument convinced the Sadducees, 
but it pleases me by its simplicity, and I have no 
desire for any other. 

If God exists — 1 should say, if the supreme reality is 
not the unconscious and blind force-substance of con- 
ventional monism, but that sovereign personality (or 
supra personality) which in the clear consciousness 
of Christ made its paternal presence to be continually 
felt — if God exists, it is not, apparently, in order to 
play the role of a perpetual undertaker of funereal 
pomp that he consents to exist, or to allow to fall for- 
ever into nothingness the poor creatures who wait 
upon Him. 

They may disappear from before our eyes, but they 
do not disappear from before His ; for they are dead 
to us, but for Him, and, consequently, in actual real- 
ity, they are living. Otherwise He would not be God. 



This is all I need. I see nothing clearly, it is true, as 
to the concrete conditions of that other existence, of 
which the manner even, if it were revealed to me, 
would probably remain a sealed book to my intelli- 
gence, hampered by the bonds of space and time. 
, But of what importance is it ? That which I am igno- 
ant of, God knows ; and while waiting for Him to call 
me to rejoin those who have preceded me, He is great 
enough for me to leave to Him the mysterious fate of 
our personalities. " Since all live unto Him," I ask 
no more than that, and as for the pretended demon- 
strations of spiritism, true or false, I do not care a 

Or 1 would prefer them to be false. And if they are 
true, if it is actually a law of nature that during long 
years to come, after this terrestrial existence, we must 
drag ourselves miserably from table to table and me- 
dium to medium, the best of us (not to speak of the 
others) displaying without shame the proofs of our 
mental decrepitude in pitiable nonsense and wretched 
verses — oh, so much the worse I 

It is one misery and shame the more added to all 
those of which this satanic world is made up, a new 
calamity coming to crown the physical and moral ills 
of a world against which the Christian continually 
protests as he 'repeats "Thy kingdom come," an ad- 
ditional scandal condemned to disappear when " His 
kingdom shall have come." 

There is nothing in common between the empirical, 
spatial, and temporal survivals which spiritism pre- 
tends to establish and that " eternal life " proclaimed 
by the Prophet of Nazareth. These things, said Pas- 
2D 417 


cal, are not of the same order. That is why I am not 
a spiritist. 

Here rises a last point, which worries me when I 
ought to speak my mind in regard to spiritism in the 
presence of spiritists. " You do not personally hold," 
it has been often objected to me, " to these communi- 
cations of the living with those who have gone before 
us into the great unknown, and you cry out against 
spiritistic demonstrations. It is all very well for you, 
who are a mystic, and to whom the existence of God 
in Jesus Christ seems a sufficient guarantee of the des- 
tinies of human personality and its ultimate palingen- 
esis. But every one has not the same temperament, 
and does not take so blithely his ignorance of the kind 
of life which awaits him beyond the tomb. To be- 
lieve in God, and to abandon to Him with closed eyes 
the fate of those who leave us, carrying away with 
them the best portions of our being, is all very well, 
but it is very difficult. The times of the psalmist who 
could say ' Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him ' 
are no more ; and as for Christ, He was certainly 
a very remarkable medium, but His simple affirma- 
tion would scarcely be taken to-day for gospel words. 
The solid and the palpable are necessary to the 
' fools' of our epoch. They are not capable of admit- 
ting a higher world than that of sense, unless they are 
enabled to touch it with their finger by means of mes- 
sages and the return of the dead themselves . Whence 
it results that every attack, every hostile attitude tow- 
ards spiritism tends directly to break down the 
only rampart which might henceforth be efficacious 
against materialism and its disastrous consequences 



— infidelity, egotism, vice, despair, smcide, and, final- 
ly, the destruction and annihilation of the entire social 
organism. On the other hand, when science at length 
shall recognize and consecrate spiritism officially, 
thereupon, simultaneously with the tangible certainty 
of another life, courage and strength will return to 
the hearts of individuals, devotion and all virtues will 
begin to flourish once again, and an elevated human- 
ity will soon see heaven descend upon the earth, 
thanks to the connection established and daily prac- 
tised between the living and the spirits of the dead." 
My embarrassment is easily seen. On the one 
hand, 1 do not in any way admit the foregoing objec- 
tion. I do not think that the gospel has had its day 
or is above the reach of " fools," since it was for them 
that its author designed it. I believe, on the con- 
trary, that the Christian faith, the faith of Christ or 
faith in Christ, is, in its inmost essence, a psychologi- 
cal reality, a personal experience accessible to the 
most humble, a fact of consciousness which will sur- 
vive when all theological systems shall have been 
forgotten and all the clergy shall have been abol- 
ished. That vital and regenerating power will save 
our civilization (if anything can save it) by means 
of the individuals whom it shall have regenerated, 
without owing anything to spiritistic theories or 
practices. Inversely, I do not share the optimism of 
those who would make of spiritism a social panacea, 
and who imagine that when the moral conscious- 
ness on the one side and the religious consciousness 
on the other have ceased to make themselves heard, 
the messages of the " disincarnates " will have better 



success. (" If they hear not Moses and the prophets, 
neither will they be persuaded though one rose from 
the dead.") 

But, on the other hand, there are individual cases 
which are interesting and which certainly merit con- 
sideration. And for millions, and by a hundred dif- 
ferent titles — religious belief, moral consolation, sol- 
emn and mysterious rites, old habit, etc. — spiritism 
is to-day the pivot around which existence turns, and 
also its only support ; would not the destruction of 
it, then, be productive of more harm than good, and 
would it not be better to let matters take their 
course ? Why prevent man from delighting in 
dreams, if he so pleases ? 

All things are possible, and was it not of the reve- 
nants that Hamlet was thinking in his celebrated 
apostrophe, from which I have taken this principle ? 

These are the things which perplex me : while 
waiting to find a way out of them, and by way of 
summing up, it seems to me indispensable to sepa- 
rate distinctly spiritism-rehgion, which is an assem- 
blage of beliefs and practices dear to many, from 
spiritism-science, a simple hypothesis designed to ex- 
plain certain phenomena arising from observation. 
The first tells me nothing, or rather it amuses me 
or repels me according to circumstances ; but the 
more elevated sentiments, and those worthy of all re- 
spect, which it inspires in its adepts, impose upon me 
the duty of passing it by and ignoring it here. The 
second, on the contrary, does not fail to interest me, 
as it does all who are curious in regard to natural 



Por the question. Do human or animal individ- 
uaHties continue to intervene in an effective manner 
in the physical, physiological, or psychological phe- 
nomena of this universe after the loss of their corpo- 
real and visible organism ? is not an ordinary one. If 
there are facts which peremptorily establish an affirm- 
ative answer, what problems will arise, what an un- 
expected field of investigation will it not open up 
to our experimental sciences ! And even if the hy- 
pothesis is false, how captivating the study of the 
singular phenomena which have been able to give it 
birth, which simulate the return of the dead to our 
observable world 1 It is understood, therefore, that, 
even despoiled of all the emotional accessories in 
which it so easily wraps itself in the heart and im- 
agination of men, the empirical question of im- 
mortahty and spiritistic interventions, apparent or 
real, preserves its scientific importance, and merits 
being discussed with the calm serenity, independence, 
and strictness of analysis which belong to the ex- 
perimental method. 

It goes without saying that, & priori, the hypothe- 
sis of spirits to explain the phenomena of mediums 
has in it nothing of the impossible or the absurd. 
It does not even necessarily contradict, as is some- 
times imagined, the directing principle of physio- 
logical psychology — the psychological parallelism — 
which demands that every mental phenomenon shall 
have a physical correlative. For, in spite of our 
habit of considering the molecular or atomic phe- 
nomena of the brain, the katabolism of the nerves, 
as the true concomitant of conscious processes, it 



may well be — it is even very probable — that these 
molecular movements do not constitute the ultimate 
physical term immediately paralleling the mental 
world, but that the real physical correlatives (spa- 
tial) of the (non-spatial) psychological phenomena 
should be sought for in the vibrations of imponder- 
able matter, the ether, in which the ponderable 
atoms and molecules are plunged somewhat like 
grains of dust in the atmosphere, in order to make 
a sensible though somewhat inaccurate comparison. 

The ethereal body, perispiritistic, astral, fluid, etc., 
of the occultists, and of many thinkers who are not 
believers in occultism, is only a notion scientifically 
absurd when it is made to be an equivocal and cloudy 
intermediary between the soul and the body, an un- 
assignable tertium quid, a plastic mediator of which 
nothing is known as to its being material or spiritual 
or something else. But conceived as a system of 
movements of the ether, it contains nothing abso- 
lutely anti- or extra-scientific in its nature ; the con- 
nection between the subjective facts of consciousness 
and the objective, material facts, remains essentially 
the same whether one considers the material world 
under the imponderable form of ether or under the 
ponderable form of chemical atoms, of physical mole- 
cules, and of anatomical elements. Nothing, then, 
would be radically opposed, from the point of view 
of the natural sciences, to the existence of disincar- 
nate spirits wandering through space. 

The foregoing will doubtless please my spiritistic 
friends. Here are two facts which will please them 
less. First : I separate myself from them when they 



pass prematurely from mere abstract possibilities to 
the affirmation of actualities. Perhaps the outcome 
will prove them right some day; perhaps in the 
near future, but we have not yet reached that 
point. I freely admit that never have circumstances 
been so favorable for the spiritistic doctrines as at 
present. The authentic return of George Pelham and 
other deceased persons, through Mrs. Piper entranced, 
as intermediary, seems tp be admitted by so many 
acute observers, the phenomena observed for fif- 
teen years past in the case of this incomparable me- 
dium are at times so marvellous and surrounded 
with such solid scientific guarantees — the case is, in 
a word, so unheard of and astounding in all respects, 
that those who are only acquainted with it from a dis- 
tance, by printed reports and oral narratives of im- 
mediate witnesses, feel themselves in a poor position 
for formulating their doubts and reservations upon 
this subject. 

I fear, in the second place, for mediums and prac- 
tical spiritists, that when their hypothesis shall have 
been scientifically demonstrated the result may be 
very different from that which they now imagine it 
will be. 

It might well happen that the cult of the table, 
mechanical writing, seances, and all other medium- 
istic exercises, may receive their death-blow from the 
official recognition of spirits by science. Suppose, 
in fact, that contemporaneous researches should at 
last have proved clearly that messages actually come 
from the disincarnate ; it has already followed from 
the same researches that in the most favorable cases 



the veritable messages are very dif&cult to distin- 
guish from those which are not authentic. When 
people come to understand that this sorting of mes- 
sages is almost always beyond their power, they 
will, perhaps, be put out of conceit with experiments 
in which they have ninety-nine chances against one 
of being dupes of themselves or others, and in which — 
a still more vexatious matter — if they should even be 
so fortunate as to light upon the hundredth chance, 
they would have no certain means of knowing it. 

This subject, decidedly, is fatal to me. 1 lose my- 
self in digressions when discussing it — very useless 
they are, too, since the verdict which the future will 
pronounce upon the theory of spirits, with or without 
an ethereal body, matters little as far as the actual ex- 
amination of the messages furnished by Mile. Smith 
is concerned. Even having become scientifically 
verified, spiritism will never absolve us from bringing 
to the analysis of the pretended communications less 
care and rigor than while it was only an undemon- 
strated hypothesis; each particular case will always 
demand to be scrutinized by itself, in order to make 
the distinction between that which in all probability 
only arises from many non-spiritistic causes, and the 
residue eventually proceeding from the disincarnate. 

I ought to state at the outset that, as far as H61^ne's 
mediumistic phenomena are concerned, their careful 
analysis has not revealed to me in them any evident 
vestige of the other world, not even of traces of a tele- 
pathic transmission on the part of the living. 1 have 
only succeeded in perceiving in them very beauti- 
ful and instructive examples of the well-known 



tendency of the subliminal imagination to reconstruct 
the deceased and to feign their presence, especially 
when the favorable suggestions of the surrounding 
environment incites them to do so. Not being in- 
fallible, and bearing in mind Hamlet's principle, L 
will guard myself well from affirming that these sub- 
liminal imitations and simulacra are absolutely free 
from any spirit collaboration ; 1 content myself with 
repeating that 1 have not discovered any, and that it 
seems to me in the highest degree improbable, and 
with leaving it to others to demonstrate its reality, 
if they think they are able to do so. Some examples 
taken from the principal incarnations of Mile. Smith 
will enable me to show after a more concrete fashion 
my manner of regarding them. 

I. Case of Mile. Vignier. — -This case has no evi- 
dential value whatever, since (as has been seen, 
p. 411), there were formerly relations between the 
Vignier family and Mme. Smith which suffice to ex- 
plain the veridical knowledge manifested by H61^ne 
in this incarnation. 

1 give an abridged recital of it, nevertheless, for the 
sake of certain points of psychological interest. None 
of the spectators had any suspicion of these relations 
at the time of this scene, which was absolutely enig- 
matical to all of them. 

In a seance at my house (on March 3, 1895, after a 
Hindoo vision, described p. 280), Mile. Smith saw an 
unknown lady appear, of whom she gave the follow- 
ing description : " A nose bent and hooked like the 
beak of an eagle ; small gray eyes, very close together ; 
a mouth with three teeth only ; a wicked smile, mock- 



ing expression ; simple dress ; a collar not of the 
fashion of to-day ; she draws near to this portrait,* 
and gazes at it not ill-naturedly." 

The name of this person is asked, and the table 
(Leopold) commences to spell : " Mademoiselle " — but 
refuses to go further, while H61^ne sees the apparition 
laughing, " with a sly air " ; as the name is insisted 
on, the table dictates : " That does not concern you," 
then she begins to jump and skip as though glad of 
an opportunity to mock us. 

Presently H^l^ne falls asleep and enters into som- 
nambulism ; she leaves the table and moves towards 
the portrait in question, before which she remains 
fixed, completely incarnating the unknown lady of 
her vision. I take down the portrait and place it in 
its frame upon an easy-chair ; immediately she kneels 
before it and contemplates it with affection ; then, tak- 
ing the frame in her right hand, while the left, very 
much agitated, plays with the cord, she ends, after 
many vain attempts, by saying with a great stam- 
mering, "J^ — ; — ye I'aimais b — b — beaucoup : je 
n'aime pas I'autre — ; — ;' — je ne I'ai jamais aim,ie 
r autre — j'amais bien m,on neveu — adieul — je le vois." 
(" I liked it very much : I do not like the other one : 
1 never liked the other one. I was very fond of my 
nephew. Adieu I 1 see him.) 

It was impossible to obtain any explanation of 
this incomprehensible scene, until, having slipped 
a pencil and a writing-tablet into H^l^ne's hand, 
she scribbled feverishly, in a hand not her own, these 

* A small oil-portrait of my mother, 


two words "Mademoiselle Vignier"; then she fell 
into a cataleptic phase, from which she awakened 
without memory at the end of half an hour. 

This name of Vignier evoked in me far-off mem- 
ories and vaguely recalled to my mind the fact that 
Professor Dandiran (who had married, as we have 
seen, my mother's sister) had an ancestress of that 
name ; was it she who returned to express to me 
by means of Mile. Smith her affection for my moth- 
er, whose portrait she had so attentively regarded, 
and her regrets, perhaps, that her nephew had not 
been preferred to my aunt ? 

On the other hand, M. Cuendet recollected a Mile. 
Vignier who had been a friend of his family, but who 
did not correspond at all with the description of H.6- 
lene's visions ; he promised to obtain information, 
and, in fact, wrote me on the following day : " Dear 
Sir, — Here is some information on the subject of our 
seance of yesterday. This morning I asked my 
mother : ' Did you ever know another Mile. Vig- 
nier than the one who was your friend ?' After an in- 
stant of reflection : ' Yes,' replied she ; ' I did know 
another. She was M. Dandiran' s aunt, of Lau- 
sanne, his mother's sister. She stammered, and 
was not always very good-natured ; she had three 
large teeth which projected, and a hooked nose.' It 
is useless to state to you that this was the first time 
I had heard her spoken of." 

This information, coinciding with my remem- 
brances and H^l^ne's vision, was later confirmed by 
M. Dandiran, who gave me the following informa- 
tion : " Your aunt. Mile. Vignier, who died about 



thirty-five or forty years ago, loved her nephew 
very much ; but she was made very angry by 
his marriage, and the sentence uttered before my 
mother's portrait could not have referred to a differ- 
ence of sentiment in regard to the two sisters, for 
whom she always had an equal affection. This 
sentence, on the contrary, is wonderfully well ex- 
plained by the following facts : My mother and her 
sister having become betrothed at the same time, 
oil-paintings of both, of natural size, were made by 
the same painter. These portraits were not of equal 
merit, and Mile. Vignier, who was herself some- 
thing of an artist, always considered that of my 
mother excellent, while the other, that of my aunt, 
she did not like at all. Mile. Vignier was very live- 
ly, and M. Dandiran finds that the epithet ' sly ' 
and the table dictating ' That does not concern you,' 
very well express her character ; she was, however, 
not at all malicious or mocking at heart, but it is 
true that persons who knew her slightly could easily 
have gained that impression of her. She had three 
or four prominent teeth and stammered badly. In 
her photograph she wears a white collar, has a nose 
long and arched, but the eyes are rather large and 
wide apart. She always wore gold eye-glasses, of 
which the medium did not speak." 

If the reader has had patience to read these details, 
he will have remarked that the distinctive traits of 
Mile. Vignier in the vision and her incarnation by 
H61^ne (the stammering, the teeth, the shape of the 
nose, the ill-natured air) coincide with those spon- 
taneously indicated by M. Cuendet, who had known 



her slightly ; and that while M. Dandiran, better 
posted as to his aunt's character, finds the note of 
maliciousness or want of good-nature false, he ac- 
knowledges that people outside of her family could 
have been deceived concerning it. That is to say, 
has not the imagination of Mile. Smith produced 
the exterior memory, the description according to 
public notoriety, as it were, which Mile. Vignier left 
behind her ? And if it be recalled that at the period 
at which the two fiancees were painted, Mme. Smith 
was in communxation with my maternal grand- 
parents through the only sister of Mile. Vignier, 
there would be a probability amounting almost to 
a certainty that these are contemporary remem- 
brances, narrated some time or other to H616ne by 
her mother, and which furnished the material for 
this sormiambulic personification. 

In this example, to which I might add several anal- 
ogous ones, the apparent spirit control is reduced to 
latent memories of recitals formerly heard by H6- 

In other cases, in which, for lack of information, it 
has hitherto been impossible to discover this wholly 
natural filiation of facts, simple analysis of the cir- 
cumstances and of the content of the communications 
indicates that, in all probability, they proceed from 
reminiscences and impressions appertaining to living 
individuals much rather than from disincarnates. In 
other words, these messages and personifications too 
evidently reflect the point of view of the medium or 
other living persons for it to be permissible to regard 
them as due to the intervention of deceased persons, 



whose attitude towards them would, in all prob- 
ability, be wholly different. 

2. Case of Jean the Quarryman. — We have here 
to deal with a very curious spirit message concerning 
Mme. Mirbel, in which I cannot fail to see actual 
memories of the latter — transmitted I know not how 
(but not necessarily in a supernormal manner) to 
Mile. Smith — rather than an authentic conmrunica- 
tion from a pretended disincarnate. 

In a seance at which Mme. Mirbel was not present, 
H^l^ne had the hallucination of a very strong odor of 
sulphur ; then the vision of a quarryman from the 
foot of Sal^ve, in which she perceived and described 
in detail an unknown man, who, by the dictations of 
the table, was declared to be jfean the Quarryman, 
and charged the sitters with an affectionate message 
for Mme. Mirbel. The latter, interrogated on the fol- 
lowing day, recognized in the very circumstantial de- 
scription of this man, and under all the features of 
H^l^ne's vision, perfectly correct facts connected with 
her childhood, and which had passed away from the 
habitual circle of her ideas for more than twenty 
years. It concerned a workman employed in her 
father's quarries, and who, when she was a little 
girl, had always evinced a special affection for her. 

Let us suppose— in the absence of all proof that 
Mile. Smith had ever heard these remembrances of 
Mme. Mirbel's childhood mentioned— that recourse 
must be had to the supernormal in order to explain the 
case. It still would not amount to an intervention of 
the deceased quarryman ; and M. Lemattre was per- 
fectly right, in my opinion, in clinging to telepathy 



and in hazarding the idea of an etheric influence, to 
which H61^ne was subjected by Mme. Mirbel, who at 
the hour of this seance happened to be half a kilo- 
metre distant from the place of the seance. Without 
going out of the domain of telepathy, I still would pre- 
fer the hypothesis of a previous transmission in the 
course of one of the seances at which Mme. Mirbel 
was present to that of telepathy at a great distance 
at the time of the seance. It is, in fact, not contrary 
to that which is believed to be known of mental sug- 
gestion, to admit that Hel^ne's subliminal, in the 
state of Esenale, for example, could in some way 
draw from Mme. Mirbel's subliminal the latent mem- 
ories which there lay buried for some time before 
being ready to reappear at a seance at which she 
had some reason to think Mme. Mirbel would again 
be present. 

Whatever the mode of its transmission may have 
been, the content of this vision seems to me to indicate 
clearly that it has its origin in the personal memories 
of Mme. Mirbel rather than in the posthumous mem- 
ory of Jean the Quarryman. All the presumptions 
in this case are, to my mind, in favor of a memory of 
Mme. Mirbel, and not of a veritable communication 
from the other world. The personal aspect of the 
messages supposed to be dictated by the quarryman 
do not constitute an obstacle to my interpretation or 
a guarantee of spiritistic authenticity, this aspect be- 
ing the form that the automatisms habitually as- 
sume among mediums. 

3. Case of the Syndic Chaumontet and of the Cure 
Burnier. — The following case is the last. It is a 



very recent one, in which the spiritistic and the 
cryptomnesiac hypotheses exist face to face, apropos 
of signatures written by Mile. Smith in somnambu- 
lism which do not lack similarity to the authentic 
signatures of the deceased persons to whom they are 
supposed to belong. 

In a seance at my house (February 12, 1899), Mile. 
Smith has a vision of a village on a height covered 
with vines ; by a rocky road, she sees descending 
from it a little old man, who has the air of a quasi 
gentleman ; he wears shoes with buckles, a large 
felt hat, the collar of his shirt is unstarched, and has 
points reaching up to his cheeks, etc. A peasant 
in a blouse, whom he meets, makes reverences to him, 
as to an important personage ; they speak a patois 
which H61^ne does not understand She has the im- 
pression of being familiar with the village, but vainly 
searches her memory to discover where she has seen 
it. Presently the landscape fades away, and the 
little old man, now clothed in white and in a luminous 
space {i. e., in his actual reality of a disincamate), ap- 
pears to draw near to her. At this moment, as she 
leans her right arm upon the table, Leopold dictates 
by the index-finger : " Kiss her arm." I execute the 
order ; Hdl^ne's arm at first resists strenuously, then 
yields suddenly. She seizes a pencil, and in the 
midst of the customary struggle relative to the manner 
of holding it (see p. 100), " You are holding my hand 
too tightly," says she to the imaginary little old man, 
who, according to Leopold, wishes to make use of it in 
order to write. " You hurt me very badly ; do not hold 
it so firmly. . . . What difference does it make whether 



it is a pencil or a pen ?" At these words she throws 
away the pencil and takes up a pen, anJ, holding it 
between the thumb and index-finger, slowly traces 
in an unknown hand : " Chaumontet, syndic " (see 
Fig. 44). 

Then the vision of the village returns ; at our de- 
sire to know the name of it she ultimately perceives 
a sign-post on which she spells " Chessenaz," a name 
which is unknown to us. Then, having by my ad- 
vice asked the little old man, whom she still sees, 
at what period he was syndic, she hears him answer, 

It is impossible to learn more ; the vision vanishes 
and gives way to a total incarnation of Leopold, who, 
in his deep Italian voice, speaks to us at length of 
various matters. I take advantage of it in order to 
question him upon the incident of the unknown vil- 
lage and syndic ; his replies, interrupted by long di- 
gressions, may be summed up about as follows : " I 
am searching. ... I traverse in thought the ascent of 
this great mountain pierced through at its foot by 
something, the name of which I do not know ; I see 
the name of Chessenaz, a village on a height, and a 
road which ascends to it. Search in this village ; you 
will certainly find the name (Chaumontet) ; seek to 
examine his signature ; this proof you will find there ; 
you will find that the handwriting was that of this 

To my question whether he sees this in Hdfene's 

memories and whether she has ever been at Chessenaz, 

he replies in the negative as to the first point and 

evasively as to the second : " Ask her ; she has a 

3E 433 


good memory for everything. I have not followed 
her in all her wanderings." 

Awakened, H61&ne could not furnish us any infor- 
mation. But the following day I found on the map 
a little village called Chessenaz, in the Department 
of Haute-Savoie, twenty-six kilometres, in a straight 
line, from Geneva, and not far from the Cr6do. As 
the Chaumontets are not rare in Savoy, there was 
nothing unlikely in the fact of a person of that name 
having been syndic there in 1839. 

Two weeks later I made a visit to Mme. and Mile. 
Smith — there was no seance held — when Helena 
suddenly assumed the voice and accent of Leopold, 
without being aware of the change, and believ- 
ing me to be joking when I sought to cause her 
to notice it. Presently the hemisomnambulism be- 
comes accentuated ; H^l^ne sees the vision of the 
other day, the village and then the little old man (the 
syndic) reappear, but the latter is accompanied this 
time by a curS with whom he seemed on good terms 
and whom he called (which she repeats to me all the 
while with Leopold's Italian accent), " My dear friend 
Burnier." As I ask whether this curi could not 
write his name with Hel^ne's hand, Leopold prom- 
ised me by a digital dictation that I should have that 
satisfaction at the next seance ; then he begins to 
talk to me of something else by H61&ne's mouth, she 
being now entirely entranced. 

At the following seance at my house (the 19th of 
March), I remind Leopold of his promise. He an- 
swers at first by the finger : " Do you wry much de- 
sire that signature ?" and it is only upon my insisting 



that he consents. H61^ne then is not long in again 
seeing the village and the cure, who after divers in- 
cidents takes hold of her hand as the syndic had 
done, and traces very slowly with the pen these words, 
" Burnier greets you " (Fig. 44) ; then she passes into 
other somnambulisms. The moment had arrived 
to clear up the matter. I wrote at hazard to the may- 
or's office at Chessenaz. The mayor, M. Saussier, 
had the kindness to answer without delay : " Dur- 
ing the years 1838-39," stated he to me, " the syndic 
of Chessenaz was a Chaumontet, Jean, whose sig- 
nature I find attached to divers documents of that 
period. We also had as cure M. Burnier, Andr6, 
from November, 1824, up to February, 1841 ; dur- 
ing this period all the certificates of births, mar- 
riages, and deaths bear his signature. . . . But I 
have discovered in out archives a document bearing 
both signatures, that of the syndic Chaumontet and 
that of the cure Burnier. It is an order for the 
payment of money. I take pleasure in transmitting 
it to you." I have caused to be reproduced in the mid- 
dle of Fig. 44 the fragment of this original document 
(dated July 29, 1838), bearing the names of these two 
personages ; the reader can thus judge for himself 
in regard to the quite remarkable similarity which 
there exists between these authentic signatures and 
those automatically traced by the hand of Mile. 

My first idea was, as may be supposed, that Mile. 
Smith must some time or other have seen some cer- 
tificates or documents signed by the syndic or by the 
cur4 of Chessenaz, and that it was these forgotten 



visual flashes, reappearing in somnambulism, which 
had served her as inner models when her entranced 
hand retraced these signatures. One may likewise 
imagine how angry such a supposition would make 
H61^ne, who has no recollection whatever of having 
ever heard the name of Chessenaz nor of any of its 
inhabitants, past or present. I only half regret my 
imprudent supposition, since it has availed to fur- 
nish us a new and more explicit manifestation of 
the cure, who, again taking hold of Mile. Smith's 
arm at a later seance (May 21 st, at M. .Lemaitre's) 
comes to certify to us as to his identity by the attesta- 
tion, in due and proper form, of Fig. 43. As is there 
seen, he makes it twice ; being deceived as to the 
signature, he incontinently, with disgust, crosses 
out that which he had so carefully written, and re- 
commences on another sheet ; this second draft, in 
which he has omitted the word " soussigni " (" under- 
signed") of the first, took him seven minutes to trace, 
but leaves nothing to be desired as to precision and 
legibility. This painstaking calligraphy is very 
like that of a country curS of sixty years ago, and in 
default of another specimen for comparison, it pre- 
sents an undeniable analogy of hand with the au- 
thentic receipt of the order for payment of money of 
Fig. 44. 

Neither Mile. Smith nor her mother had the least 
notion in regard to the cure or the syndic of Chesse- 
naz. They nevertheless informed me that their 
family formerly had some relatives and connections 
in that part of Savoy, and that they are still in com- 
munication with a cousin who lives at Frangy, an 





important town nearest the little village of Chesse- 
naz. Hilbne herself made only a short excur- 
sion in that region, some dozen years ago ; and if, 
in following the road from Seyssel to Frangy, she 
traversed some parts of the country corresponding 
well to certain details of her vision of the I2th of Feb- 
ruary (which she had the feeling of recognizing, as 
we have seen, p. 432), she has not, on the other hand, 
any idea of having been at Chessenaz itself, nor of 
having heard it mentioned. " Moreover," says she, 
" for those who can suppose that I could have been 
• at Chessenaz without remembering it, I would affirm 
that even had I gone there I would not have been 
apt to consult the archives in order to learn that a 
syndic Chaumontet and a cure Burnier had existed 
there at a period more or less remote. I have a good 
memory, and I positively affirm that no one of the 
persons around me during those few days while I 
was away from my family ever showed me any 
certificate, paper — anything, in a word — which could 
have stored away in my brain any such memory. 
My mother, at the age of fourteen or fifteen, made 
a trip into Savoy, but nothing in her remembrances 
recalls her ever having heard these two names ut- 

The facts are now presented, and I leave to the 
reader the privilege of drawing such conclusion from 
them as shall please him. 

This case seemed to me worthy to crown my rapid 
examination of the supernormal appearances which 
embellish the mediumship of Mile. Smith, because 
it sums up and puts excellently in relief the irrecon- 



>&urmeT jaLi:^^ 

4) otiir aicuutv 


Le SXSDtC ^^,y^ 


Fig. 44. Comparison of the signa.tures of the syndic Cliaumontet and of the curate 
Burnier, with their pretended signatures as disincarnates given by Mile. Smith in 
somnambulism. In the middle of the figure, reproduction of a fragment of an 
order for payment of money of 1838. Above and below, the signatures furnished 
by the hand of H^lfene. Natural size. 

cilable and hostile respective positions of the spirit- 
istic circles and mediums on the one side, perfectly 
sincere but too easily satisfied — and investigators 
somewhat psychological on the other, always pur- 
sued by the sacrosanct terror of taking dross for 
gold. To the first class, the least curious phenom- 
enon — an unexpected vision of the past, some dicta- 
tion of the table or the finger, an access of somnam- 
bulism, a resemblance of handwriting — suffices to 
give the sensation of contact with the unknown and 



to prove the actual presence of the disincarnate world. 
They never ask themselves what proportion there 
could well be between these premises, however strik- 
ing they may be, and that formidable conclusion. 
Why and how, for example, should the dead, return- 
ing at the end of a half-century to sign by the hand 
of another person in flesh and blood, have the same 
hand-writing as when alive ? 

The same people who find this altogether natural, 
although they have never seen any absolutely cer- 
tain cases of it, fall from the clouds when the possi- 
bility of latent memories is invoked before them, of 
which the present life furnishes them, moreover, 
daily examples — which they have not, it is true, 
ever taken the trouble to observe. 

The psychologists, on the contrary, have the evil 
one in them in going to look behind the scenes of the 
memory and the imagination, and when the obscu- 
rity prevents them from seeing anything, they have 
the folly to imagine that they will end by finding 
that which they are seeking — if only a hght could 
be had. 

Between these two classes of temperaments so 
unlike, it will, I fear, be very difficult ever to arrive 
at any satisfactory and lasting understanding. 



THIS volume reminds me of the mountain which 
gave birth to a mouse. Its length would be 
excusable if only it marked a step in advance 
in the field of psychology or physiology, or as to the 
question of the supernormal. As such is not the 
case, it is unpardonable, and nothing more is left me 
to do except to make clear its deficiencies in this 
triple aspect. 

First : From the physiological point of view, it 
is apparent that Mile. Smith, as is doubtless true of 
all mediums, presents during her visions and som- 
nambulisms a plenitude of disturbances of motility 
and sensibility, from which she seems entirely free 
in her normal state. 

But these trifling observations do not suffice to 
solve the neuropathological problem of mediumship, 
and the question still remains open as to whether 
that term corresponds to a special category of mani- 
festations and to a distinct syndrome, or whether it 
merely constitutes a happy euphemism for various 
scientific denominations already in use. 

To endeavor to fix the connections of mediumship 
with other functional affections of the nervous sys- 



tem, it would first be necessary to possess exact in- 
telligence on a number of important points still en- 
veloped in obscurity. In regard to some of these, 
such as the phenomena of periodicity, of meteorolog- 
ical and seasonal influences, of impulses, and of fa- 
tigue, etc., we have only very vague and incomplete 
hints. And we know almost nothing of other still 
more essential questions, such as the relations of 
equivalence and substitution between the various 
modalities of automatism (nocturnal visions, crepus- 
cular states, complete trances, etc.), the effect of 
spiritistic exercises, and especially of that of the 
seances upon nutrition or denutrition (variations of 
temperature, of urotoxicity, etc.), which would per- 
mit the comparison of spontaneous seizures and 
those excited by mediumship with those of the more 
serious nervous affections, the phenomena of hered- 
ity, similar or reversed, etc. 

Let us hope that a near future will establish some 
good mediums and their observers in practical con- 
ditions favorable to the elucidation of these various 
problems, and that the day will come when the true 
place of mediumship in the framework of nosology 
will be discovered. 

Secondly : From the psychological point of view, 
the case of Mile. Smith, although too complex to be 
reduced to a single formula, is explicable grosso modo 
by some recognized principle, the successive or con- 
current action of which has engendered her multiple 
phenomena. There is, in the first place, the influence, 
so often verified, of emotional shocks and of certain 
psychic traumatisms upon mental dissociation. By 



means of these the birth of hypnoid states may be- 
come the germ either of secondary personahties more 
or less strongly marked (we have seen that the first 
manifestations of Leopold in the childhood of H61^ne 
are attributable to this cause) or of somnambulistic 
romances, which hold the same relation towards the 
normal state as does that exaggeration of stories and 
indulgence in reveries to which so many are addicted 
— perhaps all of us. 

We must also take into consideration the enormous 
suggestibility and auto-suggestibility of mediums, 
which render them so sensitive to all the influences 
of spiritistic reunions, and are so favorable to the 
play of those brilliant subliminal creations in which, 
occasionally, the doctrinal ideas of the surrounding 
environment are reflected together with the latent 
emotional tendencies of the medium herself. The 
development of the personality of Leopold-Cagliostro, 
starting from the moment at which Mile. Smith began 
her seanc€s, is easily explained in this manner, as 
well as the Martian dream and the previous exist- 
ences of the Hindoo princess and the queen of France. 

And, finally, we must note the phenomena of 
cryptomnesia, the awakening and setting to work of 
forgotten memories, which easily account for the ele- 
ments of truth contained in the great preceding con- 
structions and in the incarnations or casual visions 
of Mile. Smith in the course of her seances. 

But besides this general explanation how many 
points of detail there are which remain obscure ! For 
example, the precise origin of H^l^ne's Sanscrit, 
and many of her retrocognitions, for want of informa- 



tion concerning the thousand facts of her daily life 
whence the ideas which nourish her somnambulism 
may have been drawn ! And how difficult it is to 
gain a correct idea of her case as a whole, on account 
of the crudity of our actual notions as to the constitu- 
tion and organization of the human being, of our al- 
most total ignorance of psychological ontogeny ! 

Without mentioning H61^ne's ephemeral incarna- 
tions (in which I have shown there is no reason far 
seeing anything beyond the imitations due to auto- 
suggestion), the divers more stable personalities 
which manifest themselves in her hypnoid life — Leo- 
pold, Esenale, and the actors of the Martian romance, 
Simandini, Marie Antoinette, etc. — are only, in my 
opinion, as I have hinted on many occasions, the 
varied psychological states of Mile. Smith herself — 
allotropic modifications, as it were, or phenomena of 
polymorphism of her personality. For no one of 
these personalities corresponds sufficiently with her 
ordinary personality by intellectual faculties, the 
moral character, separation of memories, to justify 
the hypothesis of a foreign possession. 

But the theory of psychic polymorphism is still 
very imperfect, and inadequate to explain the embryo- 
logical shades which shine forth in H^l^ne's sub- 
liminal products — the retrograde perspective which 
they open as to the different stages or periods of 
her evolution. The Martian cycle, with its un- 
known language, evidently betrays an eminently 
puerile origin and the display of an hereditary lin- 
guistic aptitude, buried under Hdl^ne's ordinary 
self ; whereas the Hindoo romance denotes a more 



advanced age, and that of Marie Antoinette seems 
to have sprung from still more recent strata, con- 
temporaneous with the actual normal personality 
of Mile. Smith. The primitive nature and different 
ages of the various hypnoid lucubrations of Mile. 
Smith seem to me to constitute the most interesting 
psychological fact of her mediumship. It tends to 
show that the secondary personalities are probably, 
in their origin, as the idea has been sometimes sug- 
gested, phenomena of reversion of the ordinary act- 
ual personality, or of momentary returns of inferior 
phases, long since passed, and which normally 
should have been absorbed in the development of 
the individuality, instead of breaking forth again in 
strange proliferations. 

Thirdly ; As to the supernormal, I believe I have 
actually found a little telekinesis and telepathy. 
As to lucidity and spiritistic messages, I have only 
encountered some brilliant reconstructions, which 
the hypnoid imagination, aided by latent memory, 
excels in fabricating in the case of mediums. I do 
not complain of this, since for psychology, which 
is not specially enamoured of the marvellous, these 
admirably successful imitations are also interesting 
and instructive on account of the light which they 
throw upon the inward workings of our faculties. 

Of course Mile. Smith and her friends see things 
in a very different light. With H^l^ne everything, 
or almost everything, is supernormal, from the rem- 
iniscences of her lives as Marie Antoinette and Si- 
mandini, to the Martian and the incarnations of Cag- 
liostro, of Mile. Vignier, or of the cur4 of Chessenaz. 



And now let us admit, hypothetically, that I have 
not been able to see the supernormal, which was 
plainly before my eyes, and that it is this blindness 
of mine alone which has prevented me from recog- 
nizing the real presence of Joseph Balsamo, my own 
mother, the Hindoo princess, etc. — or, at all events, 
the presence of real, disincarnate, independent spirits. 
It is, of course, to be regretted, but then it is I alone 
who will be in disgrace on the day when the truth 
shall be made manifest. 

For, as to progress in our knowledge of things, 
everything is to be feared from easy credulity and 
obstinate dogmatism, but that progress will not be 
arrested or seriously retarded by possible errors, 
committed in good faith, through an exaggerated 
severity of application and a too strict observance 
of the principles themselves of all experimental in- 
vestigation ; while, on the contrary, the obstacles 
and the difficulties which the necessities of the meth- 
od multiply along its path have always been a strong 
stimulant, producing new movements forward and 
more durable conquests based on better demonstra- 

It is better, then, to follow my advice — in the well- 
understood interest of and for the advancement of 
science, in a domain where superstition is always 
ready to give itself free play— it is better to err through 
excess of caution and strictness of method than to 
run the risk of being sometimes deceived ; it is better 
to allow some interesting fact to escape for the mo- 
ment, rather than to open the door to the follies of the 
imagination by a relaxation of necessary caution. 



As to Mile. H^lene Smith, supposing that 1 have 
failed to recognize in her phenomena which are real- 
ly supernormal (which, in that case, will some day 
be better set forth by other observers), she will, never- 
theless, accomplish more in the way of discovering 
the real truth, whatever it ihay be, in submitting 
herself disinterestedly to my free criticisms, than 
by doing as so many useless mediums have done, 
who, afraid of the light, in their foolish eagerness for 
the triumph of a cause very dear to their hearts, have 
shunned close investigation, and would have us 
rely upon their word alone. 

They forget the saying of Bacon, which is ever 
being confirmed : " Truth is the daughter of time, 
not of authority."